Skip to main content


See other formats





in preparation 



Courtesy <>t" 
Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd P. Shippea 

, >, a t ,f.f 









RIGHT, 1935, BY 










My discovery of the letters and journals which make up the 
major contents of this book was an accident In doing research 
for the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Inc., my ob- 
ject was to secure records and information that might be of 
service in the restoration and furnishing of Stratford Hall, the 
national shrine in Westmoreland County, Virginia, commemo- 
rating the patriot Lees. Through Miss Elise Packard, Chair- 
man of Lee Records Committee of the Foundation, I learned 
that Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd P. Shippen of Washington, D. C, 
had in the storeroom of their home several chests containing 
original letters, diaries and other documents which had never 
been examined in their entirety by any person now living. 
This in itself was a challenge to the student of Americana. For 
the records of the Shippens, like those of the Livingstons and 
the Lees, extend far back into the seventeenth century. These 
three families were foremost among those taking early root in 
the Province of Pennsylvania, the Province of New York and 
the Colony of Virginia, and their records are interwoven with 
every stage of the beginnings and early progress of the United 
States of America. 

Accordingly I welcomed the opportunity to see and to study 
the Shippen collection. The major portion of the documents 
relating to the eighteenth century had been classified by Dr. 
and Mrs. Shippen, placed in letter books in chronological order 
and deposited in the Division of Manuscripts of the Library 
of Congress. The investigation of the collection in both places 
was begun in October, 1933, with the certainty of finding valu- 



able material for Stratford. When the selection, classification 
and identification of the documents in the Shippens' storeroom 
was made, letters and documents of the early nineteenth cen- 
tury found there clarified many previously half-told events in 
the lives of the families concerned. 

The collection as a whole proved to be far broader in scope 
than was at first surmised. Finding intact such a series of let- 
ters practically covering the lives of each member of an entire 
family: births, education, marriages, separations, deaths, was 
in itself an amazing circumstance. When considered against the 
late eighteenth century background of their lives, the historic 
events of which they were part, before, during and after the 
American Revolution, this collection contains a priceless record 
of the inner life, thought and psychology of the times. Noth- 
ing else like it has come to light. 

In this volume, wherever possible, the full text of the orig- 
inal letters has been reproduced in chronological order and in 
its original form with the exception of slight changes in punc- 
tuation or capitalization. The letters, notes and fragments 
written by the Comte de Mosloy appear precisely as in the 
originals. Only limitations of space prevent inclusion of the 
whole sheaf of them. Because almost all of his letters are with- 
out dates I have placed them where they seemed logically to 

At length the collection was ready for typed transcription. 
Both volumes of the Journal Book and the love letters of the 
French Diplomat and the other letters were transcribed di- 
rectly from the original documents by Maud Kay Sites, as- 
sistant research worker attached to the Library of Congress. 
To her I wish to express appreciation for this important serv- 
ice. Miss Sites also assisted in collecting other records, includ- 
ing original letters, contemporary diaries and bibliographical 



source material. Florence Spofford, research worker at the Li- 
brary of Congress, gave valuable service, especially during the 
early stages of the collection and organization of material. 

To Roma Kaye Kauffman, who gave a critical reading of 
the entire manuscript, I am also particularly indebted. From 
Henry Lanier, who became deeply interested in the journals 
and letters as a "find" of importance to American history and 
literature, I have received gracious and practical cooperation. 

For source materials I am indebted to Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd 
P. Shippen, Mrs. Edmund Jennings Lee, Miss Mildred Lee, 
Mr. I. Newton Lewis, Brigadier-General John Ross Delafield, 
Mrs. H. Sheldon Rosselle, Mrs. L. C. F. Hambley, Miss 
Margaret Suckley, Mr. Clifford Lewis, M. Andre Girodie, 
curator of the Musee de Blerancourt and Comte Louis de 
Crevecceur; to the Library of Congress and to Frick Art Refer- 
ence Library. 

For special aid in the location of additional materials or 
for points of technical information, grateful acknowledgment is 
given to: Charles Nagel, Jr., Curator of Decorative Arts, Yale 
University School of the Fine Artsj Fiske Kimball, Director 
of the Pennsylvania Museum of Art 5 Georgine Yeatman, 
Thomas Tileston Waterman, J. Donnell Tilghman, Lucy 
Hamilton Lamar, Charles E. Rush, Associate Librarian of 
Yale University Library} Miss Anne Pratt, Comte Pierre de 
Leusse, Secretary of the French Embassy to the United States j 
Howard Reinheimer, R. P. Tolman, Acting Director National 
Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. E. G. Swem, 
Librarian of William and Mary College; Dr. John C. Fite- 
patrick and Glaus Bogel of the Library of Congress; E. Holli- 
day, Editorial Secretary of Yale University Press, Elizabeth 
Hooper and Mr. and Mrs. George P. Coleman. 

For their most generous and courteous cooperation in the 



way of constructive criticism, I express my gratitude to Mrs. 
Orton Bishop Brown, Miss Florence Buckman, Mr. and Mrs. 
Richard William Millar, Mrs. Egbert Jones, Mrs. John P. 
B. Sinkler, Miss Marion H. Addington, Mrs. Pope Yeatman, 
Mrs. Alfred I. du Pont, Miss Frances J. Turner, Miss Ethel 
Newell, Peyton Hawes, Anne Sevier Carter, Helen Hunt 
West, Lois Buenzli, Byron West, Mr. and Mrs. William H. 
Fain, Dr. O. H. Huckel, Mr. and Mrs. John Hemy King 
Burgwin, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Thayer, Mrs. Lois Umbsen, 
Mrs. Wilson Norfleet Felder, Mrs. Naudain Duer, Miss Lilian 
M. Small, Mrs. Nairn Koellmer, Mrs. William Glasgow, Mrs. 
H. Snowden Marshall, Mrs. David Roberts, Caroline Stiles 
Lovell, Mrs. Charles D. Lanier, President of the Robert E. 
Lee Memorial Foundation, Inc., and other directors in this 
organization, especially the members of its Committee on Re- 
search, of which Mrs. Emerson Root Newell is chairman. 

Their enthusiasm over the discovery of the manuscript was 
delightful, and they have shared with me in the adventure 
of the research. 





CHAPTER I 1777 35 

INTERLUDE 1777-1778 4.5 

CHAPTER II 174.4.-! 778 4.9 

CHAPTER III 1778-1779 66 

CHAPTER IV 1779-1781 80 

CHAPTER V 1781-1783 nz 

Part Tiuo 


CHAPTER VI 1783-1784. 133 

CHAPTER VII 17 84-- 1791 189 

CHAPTER VIII 1785-1787 

CHAPTER IX 1787-1800 



INDEX 3 z 3 


NANCY SHIPPEN Frontispiece 





























Part One 

Ctme anb JMace 


JN ANCY SHIPPEN was a belle and beauty of Philadelphia dur- 
ing the closing years of the American Revolution, when 
William Penn's "greene country towne" was the capital of the 
United Colonies. Her lovely Georgian home at Locust Street 
and South Fourth was then within the heart of this tree- 
embowered Court End of the little colonial city. 

Through Nancy's mother, who was Ali.cgJLfifc of Stratford 
Hall, the Shippen family were allied with the Colony of 
Virginia and devoted to their friends and kinsmen there. When 
Nancy was a little girl, she addressed a letter to her cousin 
Matilda Lee, "Miss Lee in dear Virginia." When she was 
grown up, that is, as old as fifteen years! her father was 
gratified and more than proud when she would "behave like 
a Virginian" as he expressed it, "like her mother." 

In later years when her brother Thomas Lee Shippen 
was in London studying law at the Inner Temple, his thoughts 
ever turned towards Virginia . . . "Have you been since your 
return on a visit to James River?" he wrote his father. "When 
you go, say to the houses of Westover, Shirley, Hundred & 
Meade How do ye in my name . . ." 

The Shippen home is still standing, aloof and aristocratic 
in a neighborhood long since grown shabby and forlorn. It is 
quite as it was originally, with the exception of an annex put 
up in the first part of the nineteenth century in what was once 
the garden. 

It is a three and one-half story corner house, built of red 



brick interspersed with glazed black brick, and has white marble 
steps and trimmings like many of the other houses of the 
same Philadelphia colonial architecture in that once fashion- 
able quarter. An iron railing of charming design extends around 
the areaways from the front door on Locust Street to the door 
of the annex once the garden gate. The house presents its 
chimney side or gable end to the street so that the wall between 
is carried up in formidable soJid mass, sheer from the stately 
entrance door to the 'steeply-pitched roof. Some of the ivory- 
toned, paneled shutters of the small-paned windows are almost 
hidden by English ivy. Well proportioned, simple in character 
and vigorous in scale, Shippen House expresses the quiet dig- 
nity and well-being of the life of the early American aristocracy. 

The French legation was located but a few squares away 
from Shippen House, on Chestnut Street between Sixth and 
Seventh Streets, Not a trace of it remains. 

At sunset shafts of light fall upon the glistening black 
and red walls of Nancy Shippers house. The whole place be- 
comes strangely alive and rich with warm, bright color until 
the twilight fades and the house turns to one great shadow. All 
the things of grave historic import that happened there during 
the last half of the eighteenth century, and the human joys 
and woes of birth, life, and death, have the vague outlines of 
shapes seen in dreams. 

Through these very windows gazed the French Diplomat 
one hundred and fifty-five years ago, to see Nancy Shippen 
pouring tea and to mark for whom she poured. From the 
Fourth Street pavement a footpath in 1779 a complete view 
could be had of the interior o the parlour of Shippen House 
just as it may be seen today, with the identical woodwork, 
doors and paneling of the old time, and the same charm of 
lofty ceiling and spacious proportions. Oddly enough in a 



2 > 




corner beyond the mantelpiece which is a later acquisition 
is the old hand-wrought iron fireback, bearing the arms of 
King George III, which was taken from that patriot hearth 
during the Revolution and thrown face down in the cellar! 

This stately parlour, which might be termed Nancy's throne 
room, witnessed the procession of her beaux, her lovers and her 
suitors. One by one, each said his say in his own characteristic 
manner, took his part in the drama of her life, and passed on. 
There was "Mr. Archer." Nancy's mother termed him "well- 
bred and sensible" and admonished her daughter forthwith to 
"put on y r best looks" when he waited upon her. There was 

Lord D- , whose actual initials were H. B. L. with whom 

Nancy flirted so outrageously that she found herself in a di- 
lemma from which the French Diplomat showed her how to 
"disintigrate" herself, as he expressed it. His "Exercise in 
English," in reality a lesson in diplomacy for a young lady 
who is first introduced in the world, is quoted in full at its 
logical place in this narrative. 

Third in that passing group was young Leftenant Thomas 
W, Moore, stationed at "Camp West Point, lingering out a 
most disagreeable campaign" with his detachment of troops of 
the Continental Army "compleating the works." In his letter 
of July 29, 1779, to Nancy, he said: "Most amiable Miss . . . 
All my pleasure is composed of wishes for the speedy arrival of 
the Month of November, which I look for with an impatient 
eye, and hopes for a return of that bliss which accompanied 
the auspicious moment I first enjoy'd in your presence, and 
stamp'd your pleasing image on my soul. I will not attempt 
(for the task will be unequal to me) to repeat the many pro- 
fessions of love that I have made to you let it suffice to assure 
you that they were the ofspring of Affection and founded upon 
honour and sincerity. Was I convinced that the flame to its 



utmost extent was mutual, I should be the happiest mortal in 
existence. Please to make my humble respects to M ra Shippen, 
(I hope soon with propriety to make use of a more tender 
epithet) . . ." 

Nancy's fourth adorer was the law student, Bushrod Wash- 
ington, Esq., of Bushfield, Westmoreland County, Virginia, 
General Washington's favorite nephew and, in future years, his 
heir and successor to Mount Vernon, and a Chief Justice of 
the Supreme Court. As a diffident youth he called on Nancy at 
the intervals prescribed by custom. Always reserved and correct 
in demeanor, this scholarly young Virginia gentleman hardly 
dared to presume to address "a female acquaintance." There is 
a wistful note in his letter to her: ". . . my regret on parting 
with you was not the effusion of a moment or from the peculiar 
happiness of a Day, but it was produced by a sincere and last- 
ing attachment which dreaded a seperation. I have often wished 
that Philadelphia had fewer charms for me, or that Fortune 
had fixed me there for Life ... I only lament that illiberal 
Custom should in this Country alone discountenance a cor- 
respondence between the Sexes The family beg to 

be remembered to you. My sister's compliments to you and will 
be much indebted to you for the Ballad of One Fond Kiss 
&c " 

IXV* * 

Of sharply contrasting colour was the speech and deport- 
ment of Leftenant-Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston of the 
Continental Army, scion of the Lords of the Manor Livingston, 
one of the heirs of that family's great fortune, and the catch 
of the thirteen^colonies. Colonel Harry Livingston was mad 
about women in general and Nancy in particular. On each suc- 
cessive Monday he made his gallant bow to the daughter of 
Shippen House, until the time when he projected himself into 
its parlour every afternoon and evening of the week. Once, at 


half-past three in the morning he wrote to Nancy: "My Dearest 
Girl, , , to divert myself will Scrall a few Lines } the writing, 
which at Best [is] Bad, is now worse, from the Dimness of a 
Lonesome Taper, emblematical of your Lovers Situation with 
this Difference that it Burns at one End, I all over . . ." 

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, so the chronicle records, the 
parlor of Shippen House witnessed the visits of the French 
Diplomat, sixth in number of those historic personages of 
Nancy's train. He it was who became known in later years as 
Comte de Mosloy; who made the Peace of Amiens } who be- 
came the interpreter of the young republic of America to many 
of the courts of Europe, and when ambassador to Vienna, nego- 
tiated the marriage of Napoleon to Marie-Louise. During the 
period of nearly twelve years that he was in America, he was 
secretary of the Chevalier de la Luzerne and successively 
attache, first secretary and charge d'affaires of the French 
legation. At the time of his arrival in Philadelphia in Septem- 
ber, 1779, Nancy Shippen, having been formed and educated 
for the world of fashion, was taking her place in that world. 
Members of the Spanish, Dutch and South American legations, 
as well as those of the French legation, and certain of their 
distinguished guests, were intimates of Shippen House. Among 
them were Francisco de Miranda, the Marquis de Lafayette, 
the elegant Vicomte de Noailles, Marquis de Chastellux* It 
was the future Comte de Mosloy, the French Diplomat, who 
said to Nancy: "Surrounded with Lovers I could at first see you 
without great danger." He was handsome and only twenty-five, 
and Nancy was sixteen and a beauty! Soon he was saying to her: 
*<When Nature had done all what was in her power to make a 
perfect Woman, when she had graced her work with all the 
beauty of youth with all the charms of domestic virtue there 
was still something left and that something was at last . . . 



She gave her the tender heart . . ." Then, another moment 
he says, "Wit is entertaining but in the heart she must find 
the source of her happiness," A little later he warns her! 
"Nothing escaped my watchfull eye since I have the pleas- 
ure of knowing you! Lovers are very quick sighted} every 
little unmeaning favour is precious for them; this Evening 
I received my tea from your own hands whilst the rest of 
the Company was served by a black Servant, Perhaps you 
did not think on it, but I valued it more than any thing I ever 
received from another hand. But not withstanding I was foolish 
enough to leave you at 9. o'clock, when I couJd enjoy a de- 
lightfull tete-a-tete. That thought puts me in the most violent 
passion and nothing can cure me but telling you that I adore 
you more than ever. . . ." Again with all the fervor of his 
ardent nature he continues: "Your image is so entirely present 
to me, all my thoughts are so entirely directed towards you 
that I see or feel nothing in the world but you. . * In an- 
other world I shall distinguish you before a million of your 
companions and love you in spite of the universe." 

For Nancy was sweet to look upon, and sweeter yet to have 
and hold. Joseph Wright once painted her loveliness. Nancy 
said "he has dressed me in Leylock satin edged with gold, with 
a blue girdle. My hair is thrown back negligently & tied with 
pearls ringlets in my neck long sleeves with white satin cuffs 
and a cape." This portrait of Wright's is lost, but a miniature 
attributed to Benjamin Trott exists. It is delicately drawn in 
tender pastel tones, and is now in the possession of the Shippen 
family of the present generation. It shows Nancy a young lady 
of fashion, wearing the high-waisted frock of the period with 
short, puffed, shoulder sleeves, and diminutive ruffles clinging 
like flower petals to a white throat and bosom. A lavender- 
colored ribbon encircles her waist. A piquant white taffeta cap 



with a spreading bow is smartly set on her powdered hair, 
which falls in waves and ringlets almost to her sloping shoul- 
ders. Her features are distinguished: an aquiline nose with wide- 
spreading nostrils, rich and sensuous lips, thick, dark, curving 
eyebrows and deep blue eyes. The face of an intellectual, im- 
pulsive, emotional young woman human in every fibre. Her 
sheer need of life and love fulfilled was a claim upon Destiny 
greater perhaps than that of many other women. 

That Nancy Shippen had at the one time, a husband, a lover, 
and a beau, yet did not transgress, by so much as a hair's 
breadth, the moral standards or the proprieties of her day 
nor a single tenet of the laws of love seems a paradox. None 
the less such a conclusion is proven by the documentary evi- 
dence on which this book is builded from its first page to its 
last. But be it understood that "lover" is interpreted in its 
eighteenth century sense of worship from afar! 

Every phase of Nancy's love story and her whole youth are 
set against the stormy background of the American Revolution. 
Viewed in perspective, each event and episode is inextricably 
interwoven with dramatic and heroic scenes of the nation's his- 
tory. Yet because of her education and upbringing like that 
of all girls of her time she was personally untouched by this 
background and as remote from the great conflict as if she were 
living in another planet. 

Nancy's uncle, Richard Henry Lee, went from the rooftree 
of Shippen House to the halls of the Continental Congress on 
that seventh day of June, 1776, to move "That these united 
Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent 
States j that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British 
crownj and that all political connection between them and the 
State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." 
Yet Nancy, thirteen years old during that summer, was not im- 



pressed, and in writing to her brother Tommy at that very time, 
never even mentioned this stirring occurrence. 

On the fourth day of July of that same year, her favorite 
uncle Francis Lightfoot Lee, whom Nancy termed "Thou 
sweetest of all the Lee race" united with his brother Richard 
Henry in signing the Declaration of Independence. Her moth- 
er's five brothers, the patriot Lees of Stratford Hall who took 
so significant a part in the making of the nation, appeared to 
Nancy only as beloved uncles, with or without pretty wives, 
intent upon business which did not interest her. Quite naturally 
the ode to her new hat which her uncle Arthur wrote for her 
would impress her far more than ever could the Treaty of 
Amity, Commerce and Alliance with France which he helped 
Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane to make. Of course her 
mother's kinsmen would be patriots, soldiers, statesmen or 
diplomatists every man was who came to their house! That 
did not keep them from being jolly and delightful- 
Others of Nancy's kith and kin were not on the patriot side. 
The House of Shippen, like many another of that day in all 
the colonies, was divided against itself. Judge Edward Shippen, 
first cousin of Nancy's father, kept open house for Sir William 
Howe and his staff, Captain John Andre among them, from 
the day the British entered Philadelphia. So did the majority 
of the Shippen kinspeople, friends and associates while Gen- 
eral Washington and his Continental Army were being crucified 
at Valley Forge! 

Nancy's pretty cousin, J^egg^ShigEen, was also but the prod- 
uct of her environment and the prevailing system for "female 
education." Nearly thres years j?lder_t^^ she was 

a Philadelphia belle during Nancy's school period, from 1776 
to 1778, when her marriage with Benedict Arnold was ar- 
ranged, so it would appear, by her father, Peggy and her sis- 



ters were inordinately fond of dress and jewels and the ex- 
travagant silk and satin slippers of the period. Judge Shippen 
was driven almost to distraction by the demands of his luxury- 
loving wife and daughters. In vain did he protest his falling 
fortunes! The Mischianza was in the air! 

Shippen House was dosed during those quicksand days o 
the British occupation of Philadelphia. As the Philadelphia 
home and headquarters of the Lees of Stratford and of many 
of their colleagues from the colonies of Virginia and Maryland, 
it had been a patriot stronghold for a decade before the Revo- 
lution and during the first year of conflict. So it became again 
throughout the final period of the bitter struggle, and in the 
succeeding years when Philadelphia was the capital of the 
United States, the seat of official life and a centre of art, indus- 
try and wealth. 

President Washington lodged there occasionally and, with 
his family frequently drank tea at Shippen House. Members 
of the First Cabinet with their ladies breakfast, dine and drink 
tea or "sentiments" there, again and again, among them, John 
Adams, the vice president} Thomas Jefferson, secretary of 
state} Alexander Hamilton, secretary of the treasury} General 
Henry Knox, secretary of war} Nancy's kinsmen, Attorney- 
General Charles Lee of Alexandria and his brother Light 
Horse Harry Lee, Richard Henry Lee, Arthur Lee and Fran- 
cis Lightf oot Lee, with prominent members of each succeeding 
Congress, and Chancellor Livingston, first secretary of for- 
eign affairs and members of the first foreign legations to the 
United States. 

With the exception of these glimpses of parlour episodes of 
Shippen House, the chronicle presented here proceeds in more 
or less chronological order. Its contents fall logically into nine 
chapters. Events and letters of the period of Nancy's school 



days, from 1777 to 1779, with a description of her mother's 
birthplace, Stratford Hall, Virginia, are followed by the record 
of the years from 1779 to 1783. The third and fourth chapters, 
in which the young French Diplomat is introduced, treat of the 
period during the closing years of the Revolution when Nancy 
Shippen shared with her cousin, Nancy Willing, the role of being 
Philadelphia's most popular and attractive belie. They carry 
one through her joyous youth to the day of her marriage, and 
draw the background for the tragic drama unfolded in her 
journal books. 

The connecting link between Stratford Hall in Virginia and 
Shippen House in Philadelphia was forged through the mar- 
riage of Dr, William Shippen the Younger, of Philadelphia, 
and Alice Lee, daughter of the Honourable CoP Thomas Lep, 
acting governor of the Colony of Virginia, builder of Strat- 
ford Hall. Their children were Nancy, Shippen and Thomas 
Lee^ Shippen. Tommy visited and also lived in Virginia at 
intervals during several years, at Williamsburg, and at the 
homes of his various kinspeople. His brief description of the 
gardens of Stratford Hall written in the year 1790 and orig- 
inally published in Edmund Jennings Lee's "Lee of Virginia" 
helped to form the basis for the plan adopted in the year 
1929 by the Garden Club of Virginia in its restoration of 
the Stratford gardens. Among the first of the unknown treas- 
ures revealed in one of the boxes at the Library of Congress 
was an autographed letter of Tommy's, dated December 30, 
1783, written from Westover, Virginia, to his parents in 
Philadelphia, containing a description of the ancestral scat of 
the Byrd family with a crude diagram of the layout of the 
buildings, gardens and grounds* 1 On the off chance that Tom 

1 The first photostat copy of the original letter was made by the editor and 
given to Mrs. Luke Vincent Lockwood for publication in "Gardens of Colony 
and State." Dr. E. G. Swera said of it: "Thi letter contains the most ade- 


Shippen might also have described Stratford in more detail 
and perhaps made a diagram similar to the Westover sketch, 
the editor concentrated on the Shippen box containing a num- 
ber of Tommy's diaries, memorandum and account books. 

Suddenly came a glimpse of a small book, in different bind- 
ing from the others, and almost hidden by them. An odd, thin 
little volume that in itself diverted attention from everything 
else for the moment. The book is vellum-covered, in size 
6/4 by 7^ inches. Its parchment binding, sepia-toned with age, 
with a double box rule on both covers is stretched over card- 
board and sewed with vellum bands. Compared with its con- 
temporaries, usually dressed in ordinary paper or cardboard, 
cowhide or pigskin, it has an air of exclusiveness. It is smart, 
aristocratic. Sloping across the cover in an irregular line, printed 
by hand in neat, well-formed capitals in faded brown ink, is 
the following title: "Anne H. Livingston Journal Book First 

"Ann Home Livingston" is repeated on the cover with the 
"e" omitted from Anne. "Anna Home Livingston" with a 
flowered initial "A" occurs in the lining-cover. The middle 
name is "Hume" on the title page reproduced at page 138. 
Although her mother's friend, for whom Nancy was named, 
was Anne Home, Nancy changes it at will. 

Who was this variable young person? It was in the argument 
that she must be young. Up to that moment the editor knew 
only of Thomas Lee Shippen. Review of the Shippen genealog- 
ical chart proved that Tommy had an only sister, Anne Home, 
otherwise Nancy Shippen, who was born in Philadelphia Feb- 
ruary24, ly^-Jn the family archives there is solely the record 
of her birth, marriage and death, according to the prescribed 

quate> complete and detailed description that has ever been found of any one 
of the eighteenth century houses of Virginia." See SuftlmMttory Records. 


rule of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for the 
female sex. Not another line, not another word about her! The 
probability that Nancy also wrote journals and letters had not 
been considered by the editor in delving into the wealth of 
her brother's voluminous papers. Here was news! 

Closer study of the small treasure showed these lines inside 
the front cover: "Reciepts: Mrs. A. Hfarriet] Shippen", 
with a pen scratch deleting them. This smart little volume was 
originally intended to be Alice Lee's cook-book. Appropriated 
by her daughter for a diary, it is stamped with that daughter's 
name in every way it was possible to spell it! The book con- 
tains 1 1 6 pages and the paper is the regular eighteenth century 
handmade linen, with the watermark of a helmeted Continen- 
tal soldier in action, musket in hand, pointing to the legend 
Pro Patria; thus proving the paper to be of native manufacture 
and of the Revolutionary period. The ink, of the usual con- 
temporary type, is sepia-brown with age and tones in with the 
rare, time-stained vellum, effectively preserving the record 
it may be for centuries to come. The penmanship as a whole is 
legible, though it has not the rhythmic quality and chiseled 
character of the handwriting of certain of Nancy's Virginia 
cousins and contemporaries. On some pages it is uneven as if 
hastily and carelessly written, or as if the writer were laboring 
under extreme emotional strain. 

With what curiosity, eagerness, suspense, one stepped into 
the maze! How could one find the way in or out? The very 
first lines in the strange little book wafted the aroma of her 
place and time. But whatever was Nancy talking about? Who 
". . . rode out with Lord Worthy?" or "had a conversation 
about Lord B. & dear Leander?" and found "His sentiments 
corresponding with mine made me extremely happy wou'd to 


God it was a happiness that wou'd last but the die is cast & 
my life must be miserable!" Was this melodrama? Comedy? 

Who were these titled and romantic personages? The first 
and second reading answered many of these questions, solved a 
number of problems, provided the key, and showed that Nancy, 
true to her character and her period, was merely giving fanciful 
names to everyday people and weaving about them and herself 
the artificial glamour typical of her day. Where titles are not 
used, the characters in her journal are referred to as The Old 
Lady, Lord Worthy, Lady Worthy, Young Worthy; others 
by initials, such as Mr. W., A. L., R. H. L., Mrs. M., etc. 
Mr. W. is Mr. Bushrod Washington, A. L. is Arthur Lee, 
R. H. L. is Richard Henry Lee, and Mrs. M. is Mrs. Janet 
Livingston Montgomery, widow of General Richard Mont- 

Volume II of the journal was found in the same box. It is 
slightly larger than Volume I, 6j4 by 8 inches in size and 
bound in eighteenth century marbled paper on boards, with 
a leather back. The hand-made paper and cover are typical of 
colonial Pennsylvania. The dramatic narrative of volume one 
is continued in logical sequence through one hundred and fifty 
pages to its tragic conclusion. 

In editing the journals, Nancy's quaint, arbitrary spelling 
is kept precisely as it is in the original j also the usage of the 
letter superior, the "&," <c ye" and the apostrophe all com- 
ponent parts of eighteenth century form and custom. It is 
to be regretted that the long "s" has to be sacrificed for clar- 
ity's sake. For a like reason, some of Nancy's arbitrary dates 
have to be corrected at times and punctuation and capitalization 
occasionally altered, except when the episode told, or the 
writer's emotional strain forbade, such a liberty. Practically all 
entries in Volume I have been retained with the exception of 



a few which record quite unimportant details and a number 
of quoted verses, so that this volume is almost a reproduction 
of the original. From Volume II many pages have been omit- 
ted. Nancy's laments at having to live alone with her mother 
in the country a life which she found so dull were like- 
wise dull in the reading. Her final pages are omitted be- 
cause they drift into transcripts from soporific sermons, dis- 
tinctly burdensome. The letters Nancy Shippen received from 
her uncle Arthur Lee, her brother, her parents, from Mrs. 
Robert R. Livingston of Clermont, mother of the Chancellor, 
from Mrs, Theodorick Bland, General Knox, Bushrod Wash- 
ington and especially those from the Comte de Mosloy all 
give a striking historic value an aspect of national and even 
international interest to these documents. 

In this volume there is the same usage of names and initials, 
therefore a bewildering task to solve the riddle of who was 
who! At length each character was snared and caught, labeled 
and set aside excepting one. The elusive "Leander," the hero 
"who was once ... my lover" figures in the lines and between 
the lines throughout the volumes. He was the Man Mysterious! 
Who was he? Many readings revealed not one clue. Nor were 
any signs evident in the other letters or papers to point to his 
identity. Nor could any living descendant of the William Ship- 
pens or the Lees or Livingstons throw a gleam of light on the 
mystery/ That Nancy called him "Leander" might possibly 
connote association in her mind with sharp difficulties for her 
lover like those vanquished by the youth of Abydos, mighty 
swimmer of the Hellespont, to reach his Lady, Hero, in the 
high tower. 

Continued study of the manuscript, however, presented at 
last an intangible clue, in Nancy's entry of May 27 (1783): 
"Leander went past the window while we were at Tea- he 





s'j>.rKf * 

iJM'p ^ K ? ^^ki 1 KO 

fftifi iFt^l 
i?Ml H^lrw 


' : 

I v^*\FV \ X F> ^ k Fi \ \ 

4t-1-\ ;? U ^r- w , l 

>MriK -feMY ^4X h 


1 'v 't I 


,i%s > 





m * ; 



* xl' ^i $ i Si * ' '^J %l I I v3T a 2 "a S ^ V 'Lxi 

-I 2* ' * ^L "S 4 J* '' ? V I s ' lO^ * 3 ^ L^ 

1 '* ? "4 1 11s, ' * %J * * V" S*^ ^XN 1* 

vl^'J'lvl^l *^ I " ^^-s 



look'd in and his Eyes told me he would be happy to join 
us but I did not ask him prudence forbid it." 

Perhaps a mention of such an afternoon tea at Shippen 
House might be made in some of the unsigned, unidentified 
letters in the boxes. There was a sheaf of such mysterious letters 
in elegant penmanship, but without signature or address, which 
were put aside for later examination. Now miraculously no 
other word can describe it this reference caught the eye: 
"Sunday evening 8 o'clock. On my way to Mrs. pfrveH this 
evening I passed before your house and seeing company in 
the parlour I peeped through the window and saw a consid- 
erable Tea Company. . . . You will see the plan of this Com- 
pany upon the next page. , . ." A neatly drawn diagram on 
the following page is an actual replica of the parlour floor plan 
of Shippen House, even to the exact placement of doors, win- 
dows and fireplace! The "Explication" describes briefly each 
person in the room: Nancy, her mother, her uncle and grand- 
father, the butler "Cyrus," and Leander himself "Mr. O" 
the spy outside, looking in. This letter is reproduced in these 
pages both in the text and in a photostat copy of the original. 
For the editor it marked the gain of a salient point in the 
skirmish to capture Leander's identity his name began with 

The next logical move was to assemble and read every letter, 
verse, note and fragment in that same exquisite handwriting. ' 
They were amazing letters, A man of fashion, well bred, 
charming, and moving in Nancy's sphere, this correspondent 
was also obviously a young man of parts. He had good sense, 
intellect, fancy and even a certain literary grace and distinction 
of expression. That he was a foreigner a Frenchman was 
indicated by the letters. But the one point gained, that his name 
began with an "O", was lost as the scrutiny continued! The 



majority of the letters were unsigned and undated, but several 
were signed with the initials "M" and "L", as well as "O." 
One was signed "Lewis"; others "Maria," "John-Wait-Too- 
Long," "Damon," "Mr. Venoni," "J Wait-Patiently," "Mr. 
Runaway," "Lewis Scriblerius," "Mr. Reciprocity!" Ad- 
dresses on two letters proved to be "Patience Island in Elysium" 
and "In the Other World." The salutations, all in reality meant 
for Nancy, as proven by the context, were addressed to "Miss 
Runaway," "Dear Miss," "Miss Inconstant," "Amanda," 
"Julia," "Phyllis" and "Emilia"! 

Here was a situation! There was still no clue whatsoever to 
the identity of this correspondent. Did the screen of fictitious 
names point to a clandestine affair? This question is answered 
by Nancy herself when she repeats the dictum of one of her 
beaux, Mr. Bushrod Washington: "Illiberal custom prevents a 
correspondence between the sexes." Yet here was a sheaf of 
Leander's letters proving how Love laughs at locksmiths and 
will have its way, while carefully protecting both principals 
from prying eyes and public censure. 

Thus every path led to a cul-de-sac. It became advisable to 
turn elsewhere and examine letters written by Nancy's family* 
Surely Tom Shippen would speak of his sister's beaux. But 
Tommy was off at boarding school. Possibly Nancy's father 
might mention them in his correspondence with his son, who 
was his one confidant. A closer study of Dr. Shippen's letters 
brought surprisingly fruitful results: two letters which con- 
tained magic phrases. The first was in a letter dated Novem- 
ber 9, 1780, . . . "Otto and Nancy playing harpsichord to- 
gether"} the second, in a letter written from Philadelphia 
January 14, 1781, "Your sister has Otto and Livingston con- 
tending for her smiles." 

His name was Otto! 



There was but one Otto in the card index at the Library of 
Congress. "The Annual Report of the American Historical As- 
sociation" describes him as L G O, Comte de Mosloy. "The 
State Papers of France," mention him as French charge d'af- 
faires. One brief letter from Charles Thomson, Secretary of 
the First Congress, gives his name. Every fact was compared 
and checked with dates and incidents connected with "Leander" 
mentioned by Nancy Shippen, and then with the happenings, 
descriptions, and phrases in the intriguing letters all in the 
same handwriting and signed by so many intriguing names- 
Here was the myth become man! A comparison was made 
of the handwriting of all the unsigned undated letters to Nancy 
with Louis Otto's official papers in the Henry Adams Collection 
of French State Papers of Moustier, 1787-1789-1791, which 
are in their original form. The handwriting there is Louis 
Otto's and the documents bear his autographed signature. The 
memoirs of the French officers who came to the American 
Colonies with the Marquis de Lafayette and Rochambeau con- 
tain mention of him. As further corroboration, in the Marquis 
de Chastellux's "Travels in North-America in the Years 1780, 
1781, and 1782" are references to Philadelphia and Otto [Ot- 
taw by typographical error] with explicit reference to the inci- 
dent when Nancy Shippen danced with VicomtedeNoailles, and 
the visit paid to Shippen House by Lafayette, Chastellux and 
all their group, shortly after the French fleet arrived off New- 
port. And further there came to light in the second volume of 
Nancy's journal an entry beginning: "My Friend Leander 
is arrived from France in the honorable character of Sec- 
retary to the Embassy & charge des affaires of France," under 
date of Sunday, September 6, 1785. This is quoted in full at 
the proper place in this volume. It was found almost smothered 
in Nancy's transcripts from old sermons. 



Thus it was established by documentary evidence that the 
French Diplomat, Louis Guillaume Otto was the Comte de 
Mosloy, who in his youth was the mysterious "Leander" of 
Nancy Shippers journal; further, that he was her first love 
and her last, and the author of the series of love letters by 
an unknown person preserved in the Shippen Papers for a 
century and a half. 

Later researches of the editor extending to France, were en- 
hanced by information received directly from Comte de Mos- 
loy's great-great-nephew, M, le Comte Louis de Crevecceur, 
now living in Paris, and from M. Andre Girodie, the courteous 
curator of the Musee de Blerancourt, both of whom are au- 
thorities on Otto's history. M. Louis Salanson's collection of 
de Mosloy portraits, relics, documents and souvenirs is now 
in the Musee de Blerancourt. At the Palace of Versailles there 
is a great portrait of this French Diplomat, who, some years 
after leaving the United States, took such significant part in 
the diplomatic history of France and in world events. This por- 
trait was painted in M. Otto's old age. With him is his son-in- 
law, Joseph Claremont Pelet de la Loz&re. There is also a por- 
trait of Comte de Mosloy done by Trumbull, miniatures on 
ivory by Vieth and Jukes, and an engraving in profile made 
at the time of the American Revolution. The picture that ap- 
pears in this book, by courtesy of M. le Comte de Crevecceur, 
is from the original miniature by Jukes. It was painted in 
London in the year 1801, the time when M. Otto was initiating 
and directing negotiations for the Treaty of Amiens. It is the 
face and figure of an aristocrat, a statesman and a poet. The 
artist has shown as vigorously the gracious inner life and 
honourable character of the man as he has the strongly mod- 
eled, handsome features. They prove him resolute and coura- 
geous, adamant of will yet gentle by reason of strength, with 




Courtesy of M. le Coznte L. de Crevecceur 


a pleasant humor to grace intelligence. But in every lineament 
of his face there is a depth of melancholy unfathomable. 

His secret letters to Nancy Shippen, so miraculously pre- 
served, enrich American literature. Of all the tender contribu- 
tions, to say nothing of the heroic gifts, made to young Amer- 
ica by the Frenchmen who came here with Lafayette and 
Rochambeau at the birth of the Republic, these letters written 
by Louis Otto straight from his heart to his Beloved Friend 
have perhaps the most precious human quality of documents 
of that age. His chivalrous devotion to the daughter of a pa- 
triot house filled her youth with beauty, fragrance, and poetic 

A cursory reading of the "Journal Book" and the love let- 
ters might make them seem but a young girPs illusions and 
vagaries, a young man's passing fancies and emotions half fic- 
tion, the stuff of dreams but unexpectedly they turn into 
bright historic fact. Every word is true. Every experience and 
event actually happened j every emotion came in reality to 
pass. These ancient fragments of torn parchment recording 
their secret love still bear the tear stains of the long heartbreak 
that was theirs. They quiver in our hands today like white birds 
with broken wings lost in an alien world far from their home 
the Land of dear Romance. In these pages I try to return them 



[Addressed:] M" Alicia Shippen 


Trenton, January 2 d 1777 
My more than ever dear Mamma, 

Once more I take up my pen to write to the one I love. O! 
Mamma though short to some, the interval of time since I had 
the pleasure of seeing you, to me it seems an age! and when I re- 
flect how many such I am doomed to bear, in the absence of the 
best of parents, I am inconsolable! and if it were possible that 
nature could subsist on sleep alone, I could with pleasure renounce 
every amusement, & make the silent pillow my retreat. I am affraid 
by my not hearing from you that the distance has prevented your 
receiving my letters, the number being five. I hope soon to hear of 
your safe arival in dear Virginia & possessing a greater share of 
health than when I left you. M** Roger & the young Ladies pre- 
sent their compliments I cant express their kindness to me. 

God bless you my dear Mamma & make me a deserving daugh- 
ter of so good a mother. A c , . 

& Anne Shippen 

At the moment Nancy was writing from Mistress Rogers' 
Schpol % Yflmp Tfldks i n Trpnf ?n p ^w Jy^y, Lord Corn- 
wallis with eight thousand British infantry was wheeling back on 
the town, bent upon retrieving his lost stronghold. For on Christ- 
mas night, during that holiday week, General Washington with 
his single division of troops of the Continental Army had 
crossed the Delaware, surprised and overthrown the Hessians 
and flung his challenge to the enemy. Overnight the American 



artillery had shorn the little city of its strength as a British 
centre, and this unforeseen triumph for the patriot cause turned 
the tide of the American Revolution. 

Almost at the doorstep of Nancy's school, during that closing 
week of 1776 and through the first fourteen days of 1777, was 
wrought the miracle of victory out of defeat. Through Wash- 
ington's rally of his broken, despairing army, and its gallant 
fight, the state of New Jersey was wrested from the grasp of 
the British and heart and hope were put into the crippled 
patriot troops. 

Through the battle zone moved Nancy's father, William 
Shippen, the Doctor of Physick and Surgery. Chief physician 
^of the flying camp of the Continental Army, he was a stalwart, 
tireless, invincible figure, now at headquarters, now on the 
march, in camp or at home in Philadelphia, improvising out of 
the very; air, hospitals, staff, medicines, equipment. He directed 
the care of the sick, the wounded and the dying under the 
greatest difficulties. Yet between his unwearying labors and 
those savage engagements with the enemy at Trenton, Prince- 
ton, Brandywine, Germantown, he would find a way to procure 
for his little daughter the "canvass" her mother said she must 
have. For Nancy was making a mat "with the Towns worked in 
marking stitch." Perhaps he provided, too, the "book muslin," 
the bits of cambric, satin, cotton and dimity and the needles 
all that she required for her tambour work, sewing and em- 
broidery. His letters to her and to his son Tommy, also placed 
in a safe boarding school during those perilous years, were 
written on the wing: "My dear Nancy - . . was pleased with 
your french letter which was much better spelt than your Eng- 
lish one, in which I was sorry to see four of five words wrong. 
Take care my dear girl of your spelling and your teeth. Present 

3 6 



Courtesy of Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd P. Shippen 


my compliments to M rs Roger & Miss Jones . . . your loving 

While her father was drawing up for presentation to the 
Continental Congress his plan for the organization of a hospital 
department, Nancy was making, at his request, "a p rr of ruffles 
for General Washington." During that very spring Dr. Ship- 
pen's plan, which formed the groundwork for the future Med- 
ical Corps of the United States Army, was adopted by the 
Congress and he was unanimously elected "Director General of 
all the military hospitals of the Armies of the United States." 
But there was doubtless no question as to which enterprise was 
the more momentous to the Shippen family the p 1 * of ruffles 
would stand first! 

Whether or not the enemy forced Washington from the 
Brandywine and occupied the city of Philadelphia, Nancy must 
learn to curtsy with her head and shoulders held high! She 
must play the harpsichord, sing, dance, study French and 
speak the tongue with flavor. She must read Young's "Night 
Thoughts," Milton, Dryden, Pope, Cowper, The Spectator, 
and Goldsmith. Her penmanship must be elegant j her needle- 
work and embroidery perfection. Her manners and her be- 
havior, within and without, must be set in a pattern out- 
lined by her "tutresses" and her parents. All this, when Phil- 
adelphia was a charnel house, when the "sick, and wounded" 
of the patriot army were being brought from camps and bat- 
tlefields to the Court End of the city dose to Nancy's home 
. . . "alas! our Philadelphia is not as it used to be. One can 
scarce walk a square without seeing the shocking sight of a 
Cart with five or six coffins in it. Oh! it is too dreadful a 
scene to Attempt to describe. The poor Creatures die with- 
out number. Large pits are dug in the negroes ground, and 



forty or fifty coffins are put in the same hole . . . The well 
soldiers are Quartered on private families." * 

In one house converted overnight into a hospital there was 
an incredible death toll of the soldiers. Little Nancy Shippen 
knew this place as Carpenter's Mansion or The Old Graeme 
House, on Chestnut Street above Sixth. It was first occupied 
by Governor Thomas and his Lady. Dr. Graeme and his wife, 
who was a daughter of Sir William Keith, also a Governor of 
the Province of Pennsylvania, had lived there with their 
daughter the poetess, MrJFerguson. It was the home of Colo- 
nel John Dickinson during the first sessions of the Continental 
Congress. Vacant during the winter and spring of 1777, it was 
turned to the needs of the moment. The sick infantry of the 
Virginia and Pennsylvania line who were stricken by the 
scourge of camp fever were quartered there. They died by the 
hundreds. Such medical care as could be given did not avail, 
and in vain did the neighbours bring nourishing food and Gen- 
eral Washington send the huge cask of Madeira which he had 
received as a gift from Robert Morris. 2 The ancient house be- 
came a dormitory of the dead, its once lovely orchards, gar- 
dens and courtyard and the green beyond its doorstep a ghastly 

The spectre of plague was shuddering over the city, when, 
on the dark, low horizon beyond the Delaware, like the ominous 
sound of distant guns, came rumor of the British advance. 1 
The patriot families of Philadelphia were small in number by 
comparison with those who openly supported the British cause. 
They made ready to flee the place. Dr. Shippers cousin, Mr. 
Thomas Willing, received a letter from the British commander 

1 Letter written Jan. 27, 1777, by Deborah Norris (Mrs. George Logan 
of Stenton) published in Sally Wistar's "Journal," p. 190. 

2 Watson: Annals of Philadelphia. 



Sir William Howe, requesting him to inform the inhabitants to 
remain quietly and peaceably in their own dwellings and they 
should not be molested. 3 But Nancy's home, Shippen House, 
was among those instantly vacated. On September 26, 1777,. 
the British troops, under command of General Sir William 
Howe, took possession of the capital of the thirteen colonies. 
With Nancy's father in the field, her mother, like many an- 
other wife of the Continental soldier, became a refugee. Tossed 
by the changing seas of conflict, she was sometimes close to the 
enemy's lines in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and again in 
Maryland or Virginia. She could not have Nancy and Tommy 
with her, for she was too ill and frail since the birth in August, 
1776, of a son, William Arthur Lee Shippen, who died soon 
IKer. Furthermore, the two children were better cared for and 
more secure in their respective schools. With New Jersey British 
ground, Mistress Rogers' School seemed a haven of safety for 
Nancy and her companions, daughters of both patriot and Tory 
families, and Tommy was being well trained at The Forest of 
Needwood Academy near Frederick Town, Maryland. In her 
mother's eyes the subject of Nancy's "improvements" tran- 
scended all else except Tommy's welfare: 

My dear Nancy 

Your Papa has not time to write & I am scarcely able but I am 
pleased with your letter. . . . Tell me in your next how you 
spend your time. Ask M r? Roger where she supplys herself with 
materials for Japaning, Crowning, Painting & if they can be got 
you shall have them for I would willingly do anything in my 
power that would assist in your improvement. Much depends on 
your being improved. Neglect nothing that will make you agre- 
able to M r * Roger & your school-fellows; never make mischief 
but rather when any of them fall into a scrape try, if you can see 

8 Diary of Robert Morton, Pennsylvania Magazine of History* Vol. VI, 
1877, p. 7. 



any opening, to do so, to bring them off. I have sent you a little 
thread & three p r of sleeves to make for yourself, in a few days I 
will send you a good asortment of needles, & you must let me 
know what sort of thread you want. 

I am my dear Girl v A * - ** * 

J Your Affec? Mother 

31 st August 1777. 

If you can get anybody where you are to take the lock off y r 
Pian[a]forte do & send it & a key shall be made. I have sent you 
but one p r of sleeves because I am not sure they will fit as I had 
nothing to cut them by. Do you want any more of y F silk? Y r 
matress not ready yet. You must alter y r calash. Be a good Girl & 
give my Comp* 9 to M r * Roger. Y r desk shall come when the 
matress comes. 

My dear Nancy 

I was extremely surprized when the waggon returned the other 
evening without one line from you after I had been at the trouble 
& expence of sending for you as soon as I was informed 4000 troops 
were landed in Elizabeth-Town. Surely you should not omit any 
opportunity of writing to me, but to neglect such a one was in- 
excusable, but I shall say the less to you now, because you have 
been taught your duty & I take it for granted M r * Rogers has al- 
ready reproved you for so great an omission, but do remember 
my dear how much of the beauty & usefulness of life depends on 
a proper conduct in the several relations in life, & the sweet peace 
that flows from the consideration of doing our duty to all with 
whom we are conected. I am sorry it is not in my power to get 
you the things I promised. It was late before I got to Philadelphia 
the afternoon I left you & the shops were shut the next day. I 
have looked all over this place but no muslin, satin or dimity can 
be got. However your Uncle Joe says he has a whole suit of dimity 
very fine & that you may have what you want. Get enough for 
two work bags one for me & the other for yourself. 

Your Pappa thinks you had better work a p r of ruffles for 
General Washington if you can get proper muslin. Write to me as 
soon as you receive this & send your letter to your Pappa* Tell 



me how you improve in your work. Needle work is a most im- 
portant branch of a female education, & tell me how you have im- 
proved in holding your head & sholders, in making a curtsy, in 
going out or coming into a room, in giving & receiving, holding 
your knife & fork, walking & seting. These things contribute so 
much to a good appearance that they are of great consequence. 
Perhaps you will be at a loss how to judge wether you improve 
or not, take this rule therefore for your assistance. You may be 
sure you improve in proportion to the degree of ease with which 
you do any thing as you have been taught to do it, & as you may 
be partial to yourself as to your appearance of ease (for you must 
not only feel easy but appear so) ask M r * Rogers opinion as a 
friend who now acts for you in my place & you must look upon 
her as your parent as well as your Governess as you are at this 
time wholy in her care & you may depend upon it if you treat her 
with the duty & affection of a child she will have the feelings of a 
parent for you. Give my compliments to her & tell her I thank 
her for the care she takes of you. Give my compliments to the 
young Ladies. I am sorry Miss Stevens has left you. Dont offend 
Miss Jones by speaking against the Quakers. Tell Polly I shall 
remember her when I return. There is an alarm here the enemy 
are said to be coming this way, tis lucky you are not with me. 
Your Uncle F. Lee & his Lady & M r & M r? Haywood are with 
me in the same house. They set out today for Lancaster & I for 
Maryland. I believe I will write to you as soon as I get settled. 
Farewell my dear. Be good & you will surely be happy which will 
contribute very much to the happiness of 
Reding 22 Sept. 1777. Your Affect. Mother 

Miss Shippen A Shippen 

at Mrs Roger's 

My dear Nancy 

Why don't you write to me & tell me how you do & how you 
improve in your work, in writing & drawing, in your address, in 
holding yourself & in the Graces. These are absolutely necessary 
to make you shine, but above all let me know how you improve 
in humility, patience & love, these will make my dear Girl shine 



to all eternity. These are the inheritance that fadeth not away. I 
was pleased with your last & only letter I received since I left 
you. I say it pleased me because it informed me your good M rs 
Rogers has found out a way of encourageing you in your work & 
pays great attention to your improvement & by way of joining her 
in encourageing you to be industrious, which makes so great a part 
of a female character. I have sent to Carolina for Tambour cotton, 
silk & needles, & that I may be prepared to reward you if M r * 
Rogers should write me you are much improved & are a very good 
Girl I have sent for some very pretty things which I can either 
bestow upon you or dispose of in another way if you should not 
answer my expectations. I have sent you silk for a bonnet & cloak 
which you must take great care of, not only because a young Lady 
should not dirty her cloathes but because they cost your Papa so 
much money. I wou'd have had them made here but that they wou'd 
have been spoiPd in coming to you. No trimmings of any sort can 
be got therefore you must make your squirell skin do. I have sent 
flanel to line it which is genteel & very warm & that I know you 
like. I wou'd have sent you black silk for a bib & apron but can't 
get any in this place, but I have desired your Papa to look out. 
Don't leave off y r Vandikes till December, y r Collar is at Bethlehem, 
your Papa I hope will remember to bring it you for I am sure it 
is absolutely necessary for you. I send you a yard of cambrick 
which you may give as much as you please of to your Polly for 
caps. The book muslin I send is to work a p" of ruffles for General 
Washington. I should like them grownded like the Apron M r * 
Rogers shewed me & I am sure if you do them well they will be 
taken for lace, but it is impossible for me to get thread. You need 
not make Bobins for me I shall not want them. Has your Uncle 
Joe given you the dimity? he promised me he wou'd. I have some 
thoughts of going to Virginia when I return with your dear 
Brother. If I should I will bring M r Rogers a pupil, one of your 
pretty Cousins. Present my Compliments to M r ' Rogers & that you 
may so improve as to do her credit & make Your Papa & me happy 
is the Prayer of 

Your very Aff* Mother 

A. Shippen 



Redding. 8th November. 1777. 

If M r * Rogers has no objection I'd like you to work a map. it 
is not grounded the Towns only are worked in marking stitch. T r 
Papa will try to get the canvass. 

Letters to Nancy from her twelve year old brother Tommy 
show the striking contrast between the education of the boy and 
the girl. His, in tune with the times and events, related to the 
world in which they lived. The very motto on his seal was 
" America possessed of liberty! " 

Forest of Needwood Decem r 2 d 1777 
My Dear Sister, 

Nothing but affection could induce me to write you a second 
letter, since you did not answer my first, nor even sent your love 
to your dear Brother, who loves you dearly, and wishes to see 
you shine. Our Dear Mamma left me the other day, so that I am 
now here alone, in a worse situation than you, for Papa comes 
(I suppose) to see you very often, and I never see anybody of my 
acquaintance, I am now reading Terence, in the first Class, also 
Geography. I am pretty far advanced in both. My Dear Nancy, 
pray answer this short epistle by the first opportunity. Please to 
give my best Compliments to your good Governess M ra Rogers, 
and your school fellows. I hope that mutual amity subsists between 
you. Time, Pen, and Paper, I hope will be a sufficient excuse to my 
Dear Sister. I am my Dearest Sister 

Your very loving & affectionate brother 
Thorn 8 Lee Shippen 

On verso: Lest you should mistake, my seal is America possessed 
of Liberty 

Manheim May n* 1777 
My Dear Sister, 

It is now near a twelvemonth since I had the pleasure of seeing 
you, but hope in a fortnight to have a Conversation with you I 



have so long wish'd for. I will bring you some paper with me 
when I come as you stand so much in need of it. What do you 
think of Lewis the 16 th King of France's Conduct? Dont you 
think the Curtain is drawn, and the ball finished? Pray toast him 
in whatever you drink. I have heard that the Enemy are leaving 
Philadelphia very fast when we (I hope) shall live in uninter- 
rupted peace and tranquility. 

Do give my Compliments to your good Mistress M rs Roger. 
M r Spencer who favours me with his care of this waits, So that I 
have only time to assure you that, 

I am, my Dear little Girl 

Your ever affectionate and loving brother 


Please to excuse my Scrawl as I have 
a very bad pen and no time. 
We had walking illuminations. 

Addressed: Miss Shippen 

The entire Shippen family, father, mother and brother, were 
united in the desire to see their Nancy shine! The school, like 
a little tranquil island untouched by even the spray of the 
tempestuous waves raging around it, held Nancy from all harm. 
But how different was the situation for her mother! For, with 
the British occupying Philadelphia, her home would be aban- 
doned for no one knew how long. Her children were far from 
her, and their letters lost in the passing. Her husband was bur- 
dened with the heroic tasks in which she could no longer share. 
Her own arms were empty and she yearned for her lost baby. 
Then, too, her England which she once so loved had turned 
tiger in the night. Sick in body and in mind, Alice Lee Shippen 
turned to the southward toward one place deep in her heart 
and far then from range of the enemy's guns. This was her 
birthplace, Stratford Hall "in dear Virginia," the home which 
she had norseenTorinore than seventeen years. 



A HE warmth and glow of Indian summer lay upon Stratford 
Hall. Long and low, close to the earth, the Great House with 
its breast-high garden walls and brooding out-buildings seemed 
planted in England itself, rooted in the ground of ages past. 
The tall watchtowers made by the groups of huge chimneys 
in each wide-spreading wing were like the massive trunks of 
virgin forest trees growing out of the bastions of some ancient 
fortification. The high-pitched hipped roof of the Great House 
was moss-grey. The ever-changing colors of the Virginia brick 
blended softly in dull gold and crimson, bronze and purple, 
like the fresh fallen leaves in the vast plantation woods, the 
faded grasses of its highland meadows and low marsh hollows, 
and the tree-tops misty against the rim of sky and river at its 
northern edge. The smell of old box was in the air, just as 
it used to be the pungent odor of crumbling leaves and the 
fragrant aroma of pines. The wind whispering or rising to a 
roar in the enclosing forest was like the sound of waterfalls, 
now far, now near. 

Into the wide-open doors of the south entrance of the house 
mounted the front steps steep and high like those of the Castle 
at old Green Spring on the River James, the Tudor home of 
Alice Lee's mother, Hannah Ludwell. On those rich autumn 
afternoons the very stones of this high stoop were warm to the 
touch, so that the Great House and all that belonged to it and 
came forth from it seemed united with the sun. Stratford Hall 



was welcoming its daughter home out of the teeth of war. 

The dancing feet of two little girls were all about the place 
when Alice Lee came home. The daughters of her dead brother, 
Philip, Matilda and Flora Lee were grown so tall! Matilda 
was the same age as Alice's own child, Nancy Shippen, just 
fourteen. The baby and heir of Stratford was Philip Ludwell 
Lee II, who was born in February, 1775, the day after his 
father died. 

In the long interval since Alice Lee had seen her old home 
and its gardens, how little they had changed! But how many 
changes had come in the lives and circumstances of each mem- 
ber of the Stratford family! Long ago it seemed that May 
day of the year 1760 when she had said good-bye to Stratford 
and had set sail for England, never dreaming to come back to 
dear Virginia. Yet the house was the same as when her father's 
hand had put on the last touch. The same as when her brother 
Richard Henry Lee was born and after him Francis Lightf oot, 
herself, and then William and Arthur. There was the Great 
Chamber unchanged her mother's room where they all were 

This was the large south room in the east wing of the Great 
House. Two of its deep-recessed windows looked out upon the 
eastern prospect: the grove of English beech trees and the 
walled garden beyond, with its descending terraces, box- 
bordered paths, parterres of flowers and shrubs and beds of 
fragrant herbs } its grapes, figs and pomegranates ripening in 
the sun all the flowers, fruits, and shades that her father had 
planted. The other two windows opened to the southward full 
upon the pleasant lawn with the sun-dial lifting its head like 
a flower stalk above the ha-ha wall, and far ranging lawns 
and pastures through which the oak and cedar-shaded entrance 
drive wound nearly two miles to the King's Highway. 


The warmest, sunniest room in the Great House her 
mother's room! She could lift again the very latch her mother's 
hand had touched each day the latch on the richly paneled 
door with the butterfly hinge. How softly it drifted shut when 
the baby was asleep! Here was the wide fireplace that warmed 
them all the parent fireplace. And in the nursery into which 
the Great Chamber opened was the baby fireplace with the 
wrought iron cherub heads on its fireback that guarded them 
while they slept, when they were little. . . . She would open 
again each many-paned window that had felt her mother's 
hand. She would walk again every wide floor board on which 
that gentle foot had stepped from day to day for many a year. 
Perhaps on the bureau there might still be the little triangular 
pin-cushion her mother had fashioned in autumn colors. Per- 
haps in the huge oak chest or the lowboy there still might be 
the milk-white christening gown made and embroidered by her 
mother, and worn by each child in turn on the day of christen- 
ing. The very act of seeing it and touching it would make it 
seem perhaps as if her own baby wJho had died were in her arms 
again. The delicate stitches were as perfect as the day when 
Hannah Ludwell Lee had set them filaments fragile and 
sweet as the stamens of the pale anemones that blossomed in 
the shade by Stratford Spring. Coming back to Stratford, for 
Hannah Lee's daughter, was like coming back to her. 

Those memories were like dim strands and threads of shining 
daylight seen through the closed shutters of a long-darkened 
but once familiar room. Alice Lee never wrote of them but some 
she told to her children, and through their journals and letters 
the mist-like breath of Stratford Hall is wafted down the 

The long vista to their River Potowmack from the north 
door of the Great Hall must also have quickened heart and 



mind for Alice Lee, Under the light of the moon when she was 
a girl the broad reaches of that river had showed the friendly 
ships that came and went between the Colony of Virginia and 
Mother England, when Britain was in truth their mother. By 
day the air was so dear that every branch and twig and leaf 
of the trees in the foreground was etched in tremulous lines 
against the sky and water. Every pinnace, barge and yacht afloat 
there off Stratford Landing looked near, and old St. Mary's on 
the Maryland shore across from them seemed close as a friend. 



V/NCE in Alice Lee's childhood there had come a spring day, 
May 1 7, i 744, when the vista to the river reached farther than 
the boundaries of Maryland, up the vast sweep of Chesa- 
peake Bay into the stranger Province of Pennsylvania and 
unknown lands beyond. This was the time when her father, the 
Honourable Col 9 Thomas Lee Esq., and her brother Philip 
Ludwell Lee, and other men took a long journey on the yacht 
Margaret. They went to meet the Indians of the Six Nations in 
council at Lancaster and to treat with them for the opening of 
new lands beyond the Alleghanies for English settlement. It 
was a great journey, and all the family of Stratford and the 
neighbors went down to Stratford Landing to see the Margaret 
off, "One Jack Ensign and Pennon flying." 

Alice Lee had no means of knowing then not until nearly a 
generation later, that curiously coincident with the year of her 
father's visit to Philadelphia was the gift of a land grant from 
Thomas and Richard Penn, proprietaries of Pennsylvania, to 
William and Joseph Shippen. This grant comprised the entire 
square between Spruce Street and Locust then called Prune 
bounded by Fourth and Fifth. The square became the site of 
Shippen House built in the following decade by the Elder 
William Shippen and made a gift to his only son William Ship- 

1"N H__..LI " "*' " *"* "* *'***' '*"' > -V., ^.^ R ^ .. i * ' *" ^***' "*" * '- i _ *jt ,., * j i , ,. , , , . , ., , ,*f 

pen the Younger, the man whom Alice Lee was to marry. 
Through that marriage Shippen House was destined to become 
the northern headquarters of the Virginia patriots of the Revo- 



lution, among whom the five brothers Lee were foremost and 
to be dedicated to the cause of Liberty just as Stratford had 

When Thomas Lee, with his companions of the Commission, 
had signed and sealed the Treaty of Lancaster which gave to 
America so vast a territory in the name of his majesty George 
III, he returned to Stratford. Besides the Treaty duplicate, he 
brought back from the Province of Pennsylvania a history of 
England inscribed with the honored name of William Penn, 
and for the beloved gardens of his home a few slips of Lom- 
bardy poplars and weeping willow trees from Woodlands. 

This was another place in Philadelphia town associated with 
his memorable journey. For he had spent a day or more at 
Woodlands, the country seat of Andrew Hamilton on the west 
bank of the River Schuyllfill. Its nursery gardens, like those of 
John Bartram the botanist further up the river, were a mother 
place of rare trees, shrubs, vegetables and flowers. For three 
successive generations sons of the Hamilton family imported 
these treasures from England, the Continent and the Far East. 
The first weeping willows and the first Lombardy poplars in 
the Colonies grew there. So the grounds of Stratford Hall and 
the little garden of Shippen House derived many of their 
beauties from Woodlands. 

Five years passed by and Alice Lee reached the age of four- 
teen. It was January, 1749. Her mother died. Over the long 
rough roads to her father's birthplace, Matholic, nearly twenty 
miles away, her body was borne in the drear cold and the snows. 
There, near the blackened ruins of the home to which Hannah 
Ludwell had come as a bride twenty-seven years before, she 
was buried in the family graveyard which took its name from 
the fire that destroyed the place, "Burnt House Fields." The 
grave beside her was for her husband. Less than a year later 



Alice Lee's dear father passed away. The little girl and her 
brothers were thus doubly bereft! 

The oldest brother Philip, succeeding to the ownership of 
their home, was the executor of their father's will and guardian 
of the younger children. The older sister Hannah had long 
since been married to Gawin Corbin, and was living at the great 
house Peckatone on the Potowmac, twenty miles from Strat- 
ford. Richard Henry was at school in England. Arthur, the 
youngest of the family, was only nine years old. Philip Lee, now 
master of Stratford, was also a member of the King's Council. 
Turning haughty and pompous under his new fortunes and re- 
sponsibilities, he became alien to them all. Little Arthur and, it 
may have been, William too was put to live, eat and work 
with the slaves, until at length it was arranged that he should 
go to England and be educated at Eton. Sharp divisions arose 
in the family as time went on; legal complications and contests 
between the heir-at-law and his brothers. 

All of this must have weighed heavily upon Alice Lee's 
peace-loving spirit and darkened her entire youth. Stratford, 
where they had all been so happy and so well cared for, be- 
came a place of misery. Even the indentured servants ran away 
when they could. Should a hungry slave break into the full 
storehouses for food, his hand would be branded with a red 
hot iron. If Alice Lee had any of the Virginia girl's usual 
gaiety there is no record of it. When she reached her twenty- 
fourth year she came to a momentous decision to renounce all 
right and title to her father's legacies for a settled annuity of 
forty pounds sterling, and to leave her once beloved home for- 
ever. She empowered her brother William to look after her 
interests. She got together all her belongings, and in May of 
1760 she left Stratford and took passage to England. 

A short time before, her mother's only brother, Philip Lud- 



well III, with his two motherless daughters Hannah Phillipa 
and Lucy Grymes Ludwell, had left Green Spring and gone to 
live in London. William Lee joined Alice and Arthur there 
afterwards. The Ludwell family was well established. Their 
circle of friends, who were also the intimates of young Arthur 
Lee, included Dr. Samuel Johnson, Boswell, Fanny Burney 
and John Paradise. The well-known surgeons, Sir John Hunter 
and Dr. Home with his daughter Anne, were also among them, 
and one American besides themselves, "a student in the medical 
art," William Shippen the Younger of Philadelphia. 

An amazing array of marriages occurred in this group within 
the next few years. Alice Lee, who had reached spinster's age 
living at remote Stratford, became engaged to her fellow coun- 
tryman William Shippen. Her cousin Lucy Grymes Ludwell 
married John Paradise and afterwards went to live in Williams- 
burg, Virginia, bearing with her the dining table which had 
been so often graced by the Great Lexicographer. Lucy's sister, 
Hannah Phillipa Ludwell, married Alice's brother William 
Lee and through this marriage the Castle at Green Spring and 
the other vast Ludwell estates on the lower James River, and in 
Jamestown and Williamsburg, came into the ownership of the 
Lees. Arthur Lee alone seems to have been left without a part- 
ner. Dr. Home's daughter Anne who became the wife of Sir 
John Hunter was Alice Lee's closest friend. There was an un- 
derstanding between them that each would name her first born 
daughter for the other. 1 

Young William Shippen had been sent abroad by his father 
"to be perfected in the medical art." Of him the Elder Shippen 
said: "My son had his education in the best college in this part 
of the country, [College of New Jersey, later Princeton Uni- 
versity] and has been studying physick with me, besides which 

1 Letter Jan. 15, 1786, Dr. William Shippen to his son. 




he had the opportunity of seeing the practice of every gentle- 
man of note in our city. But for want of that variety of opera- 
tions and those frequent dissections which are common in older 
countries, I must send him to Europe. His scheme is to gain all 
the knowledge he can in anatomy, physick and surgery. He 
will stay in London for the winter, etc." He was attending Dr. 
Hunter's anatomical lectures and was also a student in jGuj^s 
hosgital. His marriage to Alice Lee took place Agril 3, 1762, 
at the Church of St. Mary Le Strand, Middlesex, in the pres- 
ence of Alice's uncle Philip and her brother William Lee. 
Returning to America to Philadelphia after the wedding, 
they went to live at Shippen House, 

The little capital city of the United Colonies was still of 
the early eighteenth century in appearance and temper. Al- 
most every house with its outbuildings and stables stood in 
the center of grounds planted with fruit and shade trees, shrubs 
and flowers. Near by, close to the Delaware River, was "the 
princely place" of young William Shippen's great-grandfather 
Edward Shigjgenj, the first mayor of Philadelphia. It was a by- 
wo7dTthat"the old gentleman "had the biggest person, the big- 
gest house and the biggest coach in the city!" 

The plan of their own house, small and simple by compari- 
son, was unusual and peculiarly adapted to a physician's needs 
and uses. The kitchen, a separate building with bedrooms 
above, was connected with the house by a covered passage 
which enclosed the stairway. The dining-room, parlour and 
office all opened into the wide entrance hall. Each room was of 
spacious, beautiful proportions with high ceilings, wide, deep 
windows and interesting woodwork, mantel and open fireplace. 
The gardens in the rear and on the upper side of the house 
extended to Fifth Street and the stable and coach house. Young 
Dr. Shippen put up a lecture room in the yard on the Prune 



[misspelled Pruune on the map of 1762] Street side and ad- 
vertised: "Dr. William Shippen's anatomical lectures will 
begin tomorrow evening at his father's house in Fourth 
Street. Tickets for course at five pistoles each. Gentlemen who 
incline to see the subject prepared for the lectures and to 
learn the art of dissecting, injecting etc are to pay five pistoles 
additional." A group of ten students came. Thus was inaugu- 
rated the first course of lectures on medical subjects ever given 
by any American physician. Out of the equipment of his crude 
classroom, later transferred to the College of Philadelphia, grew 
th&^r st medical school of the American colonies. 

Shippen kinsfolk and family connections lived in practically 
every neighboring house, Willing, Powel, Byrd, Bingham, 
Stamper, Story and Blackwell. To Alice Lee the situation was 
curiously reminiscent of her home in Virginia, where through 
the intermarriages of six or eight generations between Lees, 
Carters, Balls, Fitzhughs, McCartys, Washingtons, Stuarts, 
Tayloes, Ludwells, Grymes, Corbins, all eventually became 
kinspeople. They were literally one great family. In Philadel- 
phia the situation was practically duplicated. 

The home of Dr. Shippen's cousin Edward Shippen, name- 
sake of the first mayor, was also on Fourth Street, close by. 
Of his houseful of daughters, Peggy Shippen was then the 
baby. Directly across the street from Shippen House, in the 
midst of a large acreage of ground still shaded by virgin forest 
oaks, was the group of beautiful houses built by "Aunt" Willing 
and Uncle Charles, for themselves and several of their chil- 
dren. 2 On the Third Street frontage of their grounds lived 

* "Aunt" Willing was Anne Shippen, only sister of the Elder Dr. William 
Shippen. Through her marriage to Charles Willing, shortly after he came 
from England to Philadelphia, was founded this family which for more than 
two centuries has had a significant part in the social, political and commer- 
cial life not only of Pennsylvania and Virginia but also of the United Colo- 



r f frf r Y 

Jfctrlour 11 Duuiy room. 



4- s 









Courtesy of Clifford Lewis, Esq. 


their daughter Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Powel, another early 
mayor of the city. Elizabeth Powel was the most intimate 
friend Martha Washington had in Philadelphia and her house 
was ever a beacon of hospitality in the nation's first capital. Next 
door to Elizabeth at no Third Street was the winter home of 
her sister Mary, wife of Colonel William Byrd III, of West- 
over, Virginia. Their house too, a stately Georgian type, was a 
marriage gift from Mary's parents. 8 

Among other Philadelphians important in the city's history 
with whom the Shippens had been friends and intimates for 
several generations, were the families, Hamilton, Logan, Pem- 
berton, Wain, Hill, Moore, Norris, Wynne, Lloyd, Morris, 
Pennington, Allen, Chew, Tilghman, Bayard and Wistar. 

At Shippen House on February 24^ 1363^ Alice bore her 
first child, a daughter. Remembering the promise to her friend 
in far-off London, she gave the baby the name of Anne Home 
Shippen, -soon shortened to Nancy. Two years later their sec- 
ond child a son was born and received the name of his wise 
and philosophic" grandfather, Thomas Lee. Another baby 
born August 21, 1776, named William Arthur Lee for his 

nies and the United States. Thomas Willing, son of Charles and Anne Ship- 
pen Willing was president of the Provincial Congress, delegate to the Con- 
gress of the Confederation, president of the first chartered bank in America 
and a partner with Robert Morris in the financing of the country daring the 
Revolution. His daughter, Nancy Willing who married William Bingham in 
1780, was one of the most celebrated beauties of her day in America, Eng- 
land and France. Their Philadelphia home, also located in this group of 
Willing houses, was grand and elaborate. 

8 Both the Powel and Byrd Mansions are standing today in almost their 
original state. Each bears a bronze marker designating certain points of their 
historic association with Philadelphia's past. The Powel house is an historic 
shrine and part of its original garden has been reclaimed from the surround- 
ing tenements. The house of Colonel William Byrd of Westover, Virginia, 
and Mary Willing his wife, was occupied for some years by descendants of 
William Penn. After the Revolution it passed into the occupancy and pos- 
session of the Chew family, of Maryland. 



mother's younger and favorite brothers, died a few months after 
birth. Of a family, ultimately eight in number, Nancy and 
Tommy were the only children of Dr. and Mrs. Shippen to 
survive infancy. They became to their parents and kinspeople 
the objects of an almost idolatrous devotion and the center 
around which the world of Shippen House revolved. 

Their first playground was the entrancing maze of the grape- 
vines, jessamine and roses, and the weeping willows of the little 
garden at the rear of their house. On the Fourth Street side, 
its flowers, vines and shrubbery ran riot to the very base of 
the fort-like brick walls of St. Mary's Catholic Church. In this 
church during Nancy's youth worshipped the entire personnel 
of the French, Spanish and South American legations and visit- 
ing delegations, as well as the Catholic soldiers of the Conti- 
nental Army when it was in Philadelphia. It was built within 
the grounds of Shippen House on a part of the original Perm 
grant sold by Dr. Shippen's father and uncle to the Jesuit Or- 
der, when the parent chapel of St. Joseph's in Willing Alley 
became too small for the ever increasing number of parishioners. 

The first mention of Nancy Shippen aside from the record of 
her birth is in a letter written Jan. I, 1766, by Anne Home in 
London to Mrs. Doct r Shippen in Philadelphia. 

London Jan ist 1766 

... I beg my comp* 8 to M r (I believe I shou'd say Doct* 
Shipenj [)] & my love to my little namesake, & I wish I may ever 
have it in my Power to make it of any use to her. I am heartily 
sorry for the disturbances which now reign in the Colonies & I hope 
the Doct r & yourself will be no sufferers from them , . , I shall 
expect to hear from you by the first opportunety as I have a good 
right, having taken the first in my power to inquire after you & to 
asure my dear M Shipen that I am unalterably her friend & 

Serv * A rr 

Anne Home 



Miss Home 

P.S. Your Friends the Miss Browns are the Miss Browns still; & 

if the men think as I do will remain so as long as they live. ... I 

hope the Great Wigg has not rob'd your husband of that vivacity 


By this time "my little namesake" of the letter was three 
years old and her father was successfully launched upon his 
medical career. 

During that period the continuing protests of the colonists 
against Great Britain's tyranny and oppression, "the disturb- 
ances in the Colonies," were about to culminate in revolution. 
Alice Lee's brothers in Virginia, Richard Henry, Thomas Lud- 
well, and Francis Lightf oot, and William and Arthur abroad, 
were turning every force at their command to the cause of Lib- 
erty. Shippen House became their rallying place in Philadel- 
phia and the meeting ground of their friends and compatriots. 
Shortly before the opening of the First Continental Congress 
John Adams wrote in his diary, 1774, September 3, Saturday: 

Breakfasted at Dr. Shippen's: Dr. Witherspoon was there. Col. 
R. H. Lee lodges there j he is a masterly man. This Mr. Lee is a 
brother of the sheriff of London, and of Dr. Arthur Lee, and of 
Mrs. Shippen; they are all sensible and deep thinkers. Lee is for 
making the repeal of every revenue law, the Boston Port Bill, 
the bill for altering the Massachusetts constitution, and the Quebec 
Bill, and the removal of all the troops, the end of the Congress, 
and an abstinence from all dutied articles, the means, rum, mo- 
lasses, sugar, tea, wine, fruits, &c. He is absolutely certain that the 
same ship which carries home the resolution will bring back the 
redress. . . . 

Mrs. Shippen is a religious and a reasoning lady. She said she 
had often thought that the people of Boston could not have be- 
haved through their trials with so much prudence and firmness 
at the same time, if they had not been influenced by a superior 
power. . . . 



On the following day George Washington arrived in Phila- 
delphia and was a guest at Shippen House. In his Diaries 
under the caption "where, how or with whom my Time is 
spent" he records that on September 4, 1774, he "lodged at 
Dr. Shippers in Philadelphia after supping at the New Tav- 
ern." And, on September 5: "Breakfasted and Dined at Doc'r 
Shippens spent the Evng at Tavern. In Congress all day." 

Time alone can uncover all the history made during the next 
two years at the Shippen breakfasts, the Shippen dinners and 
teas in that house on Fourth and t Pru$e Streets. 

Nancy's own letters chronicle only those matters in which she 
was herself concerned. A few weeks after her uncle Richard 
Henry Lee "spoke an Empire into birth," Nancy wrote to her 

Wednesday 27 august 1776 
My dear Tommy 

I thank you for the picture you was so kind to send me, Mamma 
has sent you a box of fruit, which will probably be the last as the 
season of fruit is almost over. I have no news to tell you only that 
my Uncle R. H. Lee & his Lady are come to Town: Mamma 
thinks My Aunt very pretty. Mamma thinks your books & gun 
had better not be sent till your stay at colledge is determined. 

If M r Springer goes to Virginia it is more than probable you 
will leave the colledge, However in a short time Mamma will be 
able to send you something very clever in return for the comfort 
you have given her in studying so diligently and applying your- 
self so close to your learning, our dear brother is well and our 
dear Mamma is on the recovery. Mamma says you are a great 
darling and she loves you dearly, & loves every body that is kind 
to you & takes notice of you & I am my dear Brother 

your affect Sister 

Shortly afterward little William Arthur Lee Shippen died and 
Nancy was entered at Mistress Roger's School in Trenton. 


Tommy stayed on at The Forest of Needwood Academy near 
Frederick, Maryland. 

As the bitter conflict drew nearer and nearer, and the sharp 
cleavages of political opinion, philosophy or religion severed 
ties between countless houses in Philadelphia and throughout 
the colonies, a tragedy came to pass within that other neigh- 
borhood family allied as closely as the Shippens were with the 
colony of Virginia the House of Westover. At the outbreak 
of the Revolution, Dr. Shippen's cousin, Mary Willing, ever a 
staunch patriot herself, suffered at the Tory convictions of 
her beloved husband, Colonel William Byrd. When, however, 
he became stirred by the violent acts of Lord Dunmore to a 
realization of the wrongs and injustice inflicted by England 
upon the colonies, he suddenly and ardently took up the pa- 
triot cause. He was back in Philadelphia in late December of 
1776 at the time a group of his friends in the Convention of 
Virginia proposed him for the command of the state line with 
rank of major general. He was rejected. The difficulties about 
him seemed insurmountable a veritable phalanx of obliga- 
tions, debts, anxieties and, at length, the shock of this last hu- 
miliation and defeat. On the first day of the New Year of 1777 
he killed himself. People were transfixed with horror and dis- 
may. Mary Willing honored her dead with incomparable cour- 
age. She was left with eight children to rear and protect} with 
a vast estate on the brink of the precipice to recover; with a 
curiously persistent misunderstanding of her own patriot princi- 
ples and acts to controvert and the never ending agony of heart 
and spirit over her husband's tragic end. But he had died a 
patriot! And in his death and in her life and the lives of their 
children the House of Westover was again,united with Virginia 
in its alliance with the patriot cause. 



Many of these events of the past years touching Alice Lee's 
life and the lives of others near to her must have passed through 
her mind in the still and quiet of Stratford. 


As the long evenings of the late fall and winter days stretched 
their interminable length across the threshold of Stratford, 
the bright gladness of being once more in her old home faded 
from Alice Lee's heart. For no letters came from Nancy, 
Tommy or her husband. Added to childish thoughtlessness, 
there were in that time of peril and disorganization frequent 
obstacles to regular mail delivery between the Virginia post- 
office at Leedstown on the Rappahannock and points in the 

Like icicles sharp against the cheery comfort of the hearth 
fires of the old Virginia homestead were the tragic scenes of 
Valley Forge, the heroism and suffering of Washington, the 
Continental soldiers . . . and of her husband! While she was 
fed and warm, he was riding in the bitter cold from camp to 
camp, half-starved no doubt, fighting to keep the breath of life 
in dying men. She thought, too, of a possible turn of the en- 
emy's objectives toward the schools where her children at first 
had seemed secure. Perhaps, still worse, Tommy might be at- 
tacked by the deadly camp fever! Her besetting fears unen- 
durable, at last she wrote to her husband: 

My dear M T Shippen, 

What is become of you & my dear Tommy it is almost 3 
months since I left my dear M r Shippen & I have received but 
one short letter with my gown & apron but you are harried with 
business your good for nothing Doctors & commisarys give you 



all the Trouble. O! when shall I have you all to myself? & it is 
now two months since I parted with our dear our only son, the 
pledge of our love & have not heard once from him surely if he 
was well he wou'd contrive a letter to me, he is certainly ill or 
dead of that vile feaver Crags son had, my fears render me so 
miserable it is impossible for me to stay here where I find I 
cannot hear from those I love most. I shall return to Frederick- 
Town where you must my dear M r Shippen get a lodging for 
me. M r? Gates & M r Plato have both empty houses there which 
they will not want soon, & I shoutt suppose they will be gkd 
to let them by the month, we agreeing to let them have them 
at any time if they should want them, if you will write to my 
B r Frank he will speak to M r Gates at York & Col. Loyd will 
speak to M r Plato for you. I mention these houses because I know 
of no other in Frederick, I shall be at Frederick the first of 
March unless you will contrive to meet me here before that time. 
If I cou'd correspond with you at this distance it would be some 
thing, but when I set down to write I feel myself tied up [with] 
the uncertainty of what I write getting to you only, I cou'd now fill 
a volume but no matter you shall know all when we meet. Per- 
haps it will be in the world of spirits & then we can convey our 
Ideas with delightful ease & certainty. 

Are you sorry for the Ladies in Philadelphia? Had they taken 
my advice they wou'd now have breathed in free air as I do. O! 
how good it is to do right, My dear M F Shippen tho' we are loos- 
ing thousands having loved (our) country and its interests in- 
variably more than supports me under every difficulty. I feel I 
love in my very heart the true liberty of America the liberty 
of saying & doing every thing that is beautiful & proper. Adieu 
my dear faithful husband, direct for me at the Post Office at 
Leedstown & believe for it is really true that I am intirely & 

Stratford 17 Jan^ 1778. 

Do let me know if you have received a letter from me directed 
by our B r Richard & one from Frederick. Give my comp** to any 



body you think will be pleased at being remembered by me & 
tell me if you think our dear Girl improves by being with M r * 
Rogers. I don't think she improves in her writing, I mean the 
manner & pray don't let her wear a ribbon on her shoulders it 
will certainly make her crooked. My anxienty to know how 
Tommy does has already induced me to do what my reason w* 
have forbid. I sent the man I hired at York back to M r Booths 
from Dumfries on Tommy's horse Stark & have not heard of him 
since & it is now six weeks } if he go to our Army D r Cutting 
knows the man & you can describe the horse, but no doubt he will 
part with him, for M r Thornton Washington says he knows the 
man, that he is a great horse Jockey & rogue. He described him 
exactly says he was a few miles from his Fathers & has promised 
to inquire after him & endeavour to get the horse for me, but I 
tho't it best to mention it to you lest he s 4 come y r way. You must 
not be angry, if you knew my feelings I am sure you wou'd not 

Addressed: Dr. Shippen, Director General 
at Bethlehem. 
By Post 

Dr. Shippen made immediate arrangements for his wife to 
leave Stratford and come to Maryland to live near Tommy's 
school. Thus her terrors were dispelled and her mind was at 
rest about her family. Although she was in communication with 
Nancy, it was evidently not possible for her to make the journey 
to Trenton. On February 9, 1778, Dr. Shippen wrote to his 

My d* Girl 

I am always pleased to hear of your health & good conduct 
Your dear Mamma & brother were well 10 days agoe. I enclose 
a letter from Tommy to you Your Mamma desires you will 
never wear a ribband on your Shoulder because it is apt to make 
the person crooked I have spoken to M r Barclay about Gen 1 


Pulaski & am in hopes no more Troops or horses will be quartered 
on M rs Roger. 
Present my compliments to M r * Roger & Miss Jones 

Your loving Father 
W. Shippen jr. 

Philadelphia, still occupied by the British, was gay as it had 
not been for years. The Byrd mansion, no South Third street, 
served as their military headquarters. All the Tory families in 
town vied with one another in showering courtesies and atten- 
tions upon General Sir William Howe, his successor, Sir Henry 
Clinton, and the officers of their staffs. In the foreground of 
that seething whirl of dinners, dances, theatre parties stood 
a group of young women of Philadelphia's first families. 
Among them was Nancy's cousin Peggy, daughter of. Edward 
Shippen. Peggy was then sixteen, the age when the young 
ladies of the colonies entered the world of fashion. She had 
been finished at a school like Nancy's. That she and the hand- 
some Captain John Andre, General Howe's popular young 
officer, were in love with each other might readily have been 
surmised by Philadelphia gossips. Had not the Captain cast 
Peggy in a leading role in the Mischianza, the festival which 
he conceived and produced just before the British evacuation? 

For the William Shippens it must have been a source of 
acute regret, anger and grief that so many of their own kins- 
people and old friends and neighbors kept open house to the 
enemy, and shared with them their fetes and favors. 

However if Nancy's kith and kin within the city were thus 
welcoming the British to their hearths and homes, another of 
her kinsmen was harassing them by day and night from with- 
out the town young Captain Harry Lee of the Light Horse! 
Closely allied to the Stratford line of Lees he had at the very- 
outset of the struggle for independence offered his sword, his 

6 3 


men and his horses to the Continental Army. Placed by General 
Washington on detached service from 1776 to 1780, he kept on 
the heels of the enemy or at their very heads in surprise at- 
tacks throughout that battle zone of Jersey, Pennsylvania and 
Delaware. What dust he threw in the eyes of the army so 
futilely entrenched in Philadelphia, giving to them entirely 
erroneous ideas of strength and the pitiful resources of the Con- 
tinentals! With his flying dragoons, like himself no more than 
boys, daring and invincible, Captain Harry Lee crippled the 
British outer lines, "straitened communications in and out of 
Philadelphia, cut off their light parties, intercepted their sup- 
plies, forage, and droves of cattle on the marshes of the Dela- 
ware and over and over again diverted the live stock to Valley 
Forge." With food supplies, medicines, clothing, equipment 
and ammunition just outside the reach of the fighting Conti- 
nentals, the failure of the Army's commissary department to 
function wrought disaster that might have been far more deadly, 
had it not been for the aid and support given by Captain Harry 
Lee and his Light Horse. The week Nancy's mother left Strat- 
ford Hall, General Washington wrote to Captain Lee com- 
mending his gallant behavior in the field. Had not word come 
of the sailing of the French fleet his tactics doubtless would 
have been in time a dominant factor in bringing about the Brit- 
ish evacuation of Philadelphia. 

The first intimation of such a prospect received by little 
Nancy Shippen was the following letter from her father: 

Headquarters June 7, 1778 
My dear Nancy 

An expectation of being in Philadelphia very soon has pre- 
vented your Mamma's & my visiting you at Trenton which we 
are very desirous of doing, ever since we have heard you behaved 
so well. The enemy are preparing to leave Philadelphia and 'tis 


thought here they will go tomorrow. If so, you may expect to 
see us in a few days. Many people from the city say all the ships 
are gone down below the Cheveaux de Prize, & that many of the 
inhabitants are gone with them. Your Mamma has bought you 
many dever things for y summer & longs to see you much. 

Another comment on the evacuation, which also emphasizes 
the fact that Nancy's cousin Captain Harry Lee and his Light 
Horse frightened the Philadelphians more than did the British, 
appears in an entry of Elizabeth Drinker's journal, under the 
date of June 1 8, 1778: 

Last night it was said there were 9000 of ye British Troops 
left in Town: 11,000 in ye Jerseys. This morning when we arose 
there was not one Red-Coat to be seen in Town, and ye encamp- 
ment in the Jerseys also vanished. Col. Gordon and some others 
had not been gone a quarter of an hour before ye American Light- 
Horse entered ye city not many of them, but they were in and 
out all day. A Bellman went about this evening, by order of one 
Col. Morgan to desire the inhabitants to stay within doors after 
night, and that if any were found in ye streets by ye Patrols, 
they should be punished. Ye few that came in to day had drawn 
swords in their Hands; they gallopped about ye streets in a great 
hurry Many were much frightened at their appearance 

Sally Wistar's journal records two days later: 

Our brave, our heroic General Washington was escorted by fifty 
of the Life Guard, with drawn swords. Each day he acquires an 
addition to his goodness. We have been very anxious to hear how 
the inhabitants have farM. I understand the Gen'l Arnold, who 
bears a good character, has the command of the city, and the sol- 
diers conducted with great decorum. ... I now think of noth- 
ing but returning to Philadelphia. 



Camp White Plains 

August [?],I778. 
My dear Friend Tom: 

I have been much tempted to go to Rhode Island to see the 
Count D'Estaing & his fleet & am only prevented by a desire to 
see your dear mamma. You are blessed with capacity & it will 
be your own fault if you dont make a great & useful man 
We have daily flattering accounts from R. I. & expect to hear of 
the reduction of that place in 3 or 4 days. Your mama shall have 
the most early intimation of it by express agreeable to our promise. 
Tell her I love her dearly Duly present my compliments to M r 
Brackinridge duty to Grandpappa 

Je suis mon tres chere 

Fils votre ami fidele et pere amant. 

So Dr. Shippen wrote his son when the first French fleet, 
bearing four thousand troops and cannon larger and heavier 
than any the British had, anchored off Rhode Island's shores. 
Now indeed was France keeping faith with America! Her 
treaty of alliance which Nancy's uncle Arthur had helped to 
make six months before was at last being translated into terms 
of the genuine aid and support which it had promised and 
which the colonies so needed: ships and men and guns. Every- 
one was so happy that all America was speaking French! 

No longer were they facing the enemy single-handed. A 
strong ally had come to them to help them fight by land and 
sea. Now was France close by their side, united with them as 



she had not been before in the struggle to establish American 
independence. The Congress returned from York to Philadel- 
phia to open diplomatic relations with the new ally. In itself 
this act acknowledged before the world the alliance that gave 
to the Continental Congress the character in Europe of a na- 
tional assembly and to the people of the United States the dig- 
nity of a sovereign people. 1 The character of the war was 
changed and the status of the nation was changed. The United 
Colonies received a new title to recognition among the nations 
of Europe. The United States of America was introduced to the 
world by France. The French soldiers and sailors were trained 
to salute and fight for the American flag as for the flag of 

The new feeling of security in the nation of gratification 
and of triumph are shown in this letter written by Richard 
Henry Lee from Philadelphia July 20, 1778, to Thomas Jef- 

DEAR SIR The condition of our affairs is much changed, since 
last I had the pleasure of writing to you, as by the favour of his 
most Christian majesty, we now are become masters of the sea, 
and our own coast at least. Ten days ago arrived in the Delaware, 
a French squadron commanded by Count D'Estaing, of twelve 
sail of the line and four frigates, having of seamen and land troops 
eleven thousand men on board. There is one ship of 90 guns, one 
oOo/slx dt 74, three of 64, and four frigates. Having missed the 
English here, they proceeded to New York in quest of them, and 
are now before that harbour, the depth of water being unfortu- 
nately insufficient to admit such large ships. The English, whose 
fleet is inferior, are well contented to remain within the honours, 
and suffer Monsieur, the count, to intercept every vessel coming 
to New York. He has already taken fifteen sail. But the French 
admiral being an officer of great activity and spirit, seems not con- 

1 "The Marquis de La Fayette in the American Revolution," Tower, Vol. 
n > P- *5- 


tent with this small work, and therefore, I believe, he will go 
immediately to Rhode Island, where he can easily destroy the 
ships, and with the assistance of our force there make prisoners of 
two thousand British troops on that island. With this squadron 
came Le Sieur Girard, minister plenipotentiary from his most 
Christian majesty. He is a sensible well bred man, and perfectly 
well acquainted with the politics of Europe. From him I learn, 
that the court of France considers the message of the King of 
England to his Parliament, and their answer upon the Count 
Noaille's notification of our alliance, as a denunciation of war, on 
the part of Great Britain, and that they mean to act accordingly, 
without an express declaration, leaving this last to England. We 
are busied now in settling the ceremonials for the reception of for- 
eign ministers of every denomination, and I assure you it is a 
work of no small difficulty. 2 

The center of British power and operations was now trans- 
ferred to New York where, supported by American Tories, it 
was daily growing in strength. Philadelphia, so long occupied 
by the enemy, was again an American town and under the 
command of General Benedict Arnold, then so active in the 
cause of liberty. His sword, effective in compassing the defeat 
of Burgoyne, thus had its part in rallying the French to Amer- 
ica's aid. All the colonies acclaimed him. Having shared hon- 
ors with the noble Montgomery, as one of the heroes of Quebec, 
and covered himself with glory at Ticonderoga and Saratoga, 
General Arnold was high in the confidence of his commander- 
in-chief and of his country. Serving by Washington's appoint- 
ment as military governor of Philadelphia, he converted the 
former British headquarters at no South Third Street into 
that of the American Army. This stately Georgian house the 
Byrd house marriage gift of Charles and Anne Shippen Will- 

3 "Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry Lee, and his correspondence" 
... By his grandson Richard H. Lee ... In two volumes. Philadelphia, 
H. C. Gary and I, Lea, 1825. Vol. II, p. 42, 



ing to their daughter Mary and their Virginia son-in-law, the 
late Colonel William Byrd of Westover, became once more a 
center of patriot activity. As the American headquarters and 
likewise a home of comfort and luxury, it seemed fitting that 
the Frenchman who had signed the Treaty of Alliance, who was 
the first diplomatic agent to the United States from any foreign 
country, and the first French minister Conrad Alexander 
Gerard and his staff should be received and hospitably enter- 
tained here. General Arnold accordingly proffered for the use 
of Sieur Gerard a suite of rooms in his military household. 

Upon M. Gerard's arrival aboard the frigate La Chimere, 
he was received with great ceremony by a deputation of mem- 
bers of Congress and escorted from the boat landing on the 
Delaware into Philadelphia: 

Upon his approach to the city, the troops were drawn up on 
each side of the streets through which he passed, and salutes were 
fired by the artillery during his progress. He was escorted to the 
residence of General Arnold, at that time the commanding officer 
in the city, and was invited to lodge with him until proper accom- 
modations could be provided for him elsewhere. The reception 
given him delighted Gerard, who wrote home with enthusiasm 
of the attentions shown most freely by all classes of the com- 
munity 5 and no doubt his reports had an important effect upon the 
relations between the United States and France. 8 

Nancy Shippen's uncle Richard Henry Lee was appointed by 
Congress one of the Committee to conduct M. Gerard to the 
audience-chamber in Independence Hall where his formal pres- 
entation as the first minister plenipotentiary to the United 
States was to take place according to a special ceremonial pre- 
scribed by Congress. 

8 "Lafayette in the Revolution," Tower, VoL I, p. 408. 



According to the plans agreed upon, therefore, everything being 
in readiness, Mr. Richard Henry Lee and Mr. Samuel Adams 
. . . arrived at the residence of the minister toward noon on the 
6th of August, in a state coach drawn by six horses. M. Gerard 
entered the coach immediately, accompanied by the committee, 
Mr. Lee taking the seat at his left, and Mr. Adams sitting in 
front of him, whilst his secretary of legation and the French naval 
agent fallowed in the minister's private carriage. Having arrived 
at Independence Hall, the guard stationed there presented arms as 
they alighted, and the committee advanced immediately to an- 
nounce the presence of the ministerj whereupon they were in- 
formed that Congress was ready to receive him. . . .* 

. . . After entering the chamber, M. Gerard was conducted by 
the committee to the chair provided for him, whereupon he sent 
forward his secretary of legation to present to Congress his letter 
of credence from the King of France. The President, having re- 
ceived this letter, opened it, and then handed it to the Secretary 
of Congress, who stood upon the steps leading to the platform 
and read it aloud. The letter was addressed "A nos tres chers, 
grands amis et allies, les president et membres du Congres g6n- 
eral des Etats-Unis," and ended, "Nous prions Dieu, qu'il vous 
ait, trfcs chers, grands amis et allies, en sa sainte et digne garde. 
Votre bon ami et allie, Louis." 

It was read by the Secretary first in the original and afterward 
in English. It announced to Congress that the King had nominated 
the Sieur Gerard to reside as minister plenipotentiary in the United 
States. Immediately after the reading, Mr. Lee arose and pre- 
sented the minister to the President of Congress, who also arose 5 
whereupon the President and the minister saluted each other. 
M. Gerard remained standing whilst he delivered his address. 5 

Taking an important part in this ceremonial and in the subse- 
quent events of M. Gerard's official operations in the nation was 
that patriot and able statesman, the country's first secretary of 

4 "Lafayette in the Revolution," Tower, Vol. II, p. 27. 

5 "Lafayette in the Revolution," Tower, Vol. II, p. 30. 




Courtesy of Cazenove G. Lee, Jr. 


foreign affairs, Robert R. Livingston of Livingston and Cler- 
mont Manors, New York, later "the Chancellor" and Ameri- 
ca's Ambassador to France. His younger brother, Leftenant- 
Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, was also in Philadelphia 
at this time. As a friend and former companion-in-arms of 
General Arnold, Colonel Harry, as he was termed, frequented 
the American and French headquarters at no South Third 


Before the New Year of 1779 the doors of Shippen House 
were opened once again. Its windows were bright with the 
light of many silver candelabra; fires crackled merrily in every 
room and, in the parlour, threw caressing shadows over the 
rows of sombre-toned books from floor to ceiling ancient clas- 
sics, poems, history, law philosophy, materia medka.* The huge 
Spanish chair of Nancy's grandfather Shippen was placed again 
before the parlour hearth where he always sat in his great 
scarlet coat. The tea-table was again drawn out and set with 
Alice Lee's Queensware china, and the shining silver, the tea- 
urn bowl and pitcher of the Shippens inscribed with their motto, 
Vigil&nsy and the Squirrel spoons of the Lees with their motto, 
Non tncautus faturi. 

Although Nancy's father was yet in the field and Tommy at 
boarding school, her mother at last was back in her own home. 
For the first time in more than two long years, Alice Lee and 
her little daughter were reunited and her beloved Virginia 
kinspeople could come to them again. 

All was set for harmony save Daughter! 

Nancy, being fifteen and therefore grown up, must have her 
way in all things at all times, and, to use her own phrase . . . 
she "had high words" with her Mamma! Possibly she objected 

6 This eighteenth century library is still intact and is in the possession of 
Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd P. Shippen. 


to being cast in the set mould fashioned for her by her parents 
and her "tutresses." Undoubtedly she rebelled perhaps even 
flatly refused to wear the headgear her mother prescribed for 
the country: "The cap-hat is proper to wear in the country & 
will save caps I have sent you a cap of M r * Shaws making. It 
is very ugly but will serve to put on of a morning as no person 
appears now without a cap at any time." 

Her gentle mother- must have been distracted and her father 
greatly exercised for he wrote: "My dear Nancy . . . Have 
you persuaded yourself that your dear Mamma knows better 
than you & that it is your duty to obey her cheerfully always, 
altho it may sometimes seem hard. She loves you & wishes to 
make you one of the finest women in Philadelphia this should 
excite your love & gratitude & I flatter myself does." 

To her brother Tommy, Nancy, being so completely finished 
for a young female, must have been a paragon of perfection! 
She could sing and play on the harpsichord and "guittar"j she 
knew some French and many English poems and essays 5 she 
could do tambour work and every form of sewing and embroid- 
ery, and even other domestic arts such as pickling and preserv- 
ing and dear starching. How she could curtsy and dance the 
minuet and assume the grace of mien and stately demeanor of a 
tall lady! According to the standards of her day, at fifteen she 
was grown up and ready to take her place in the world of 
fashion and to charm all men. 

With the parlour of Shippen House her stage, Nancy made 
ready for the play. It was all great fun. Who would be her first 

Her Tory cousin Peggy Shippen, whom she scarcely ever 
saw, was getting a little passe being then almost nineteen 
years old. Although Peggy had been a reigning beauty much 
admired by the young English officers during the British 



occupation, she was still beautiful in spite of her advanced 
age! And the military commander of Philadelphia, General 
Arnold, fell head over heels in love with hen Was Peggy her- 
self in love with Captain Andre? Arnold was a widower, more 
than twice Peggy's age, with sons as tall as she. From his stand- 
point the field may have appeared promising, in that Peggy's 
father had lost his fortune in the decline of currency, and her 

_ Jfc . - i u, .*** '*<-..^-<. ..-..' "*-** 

British admirer was gone, pernaps forever, from the scene. It 
might be his suit would prosper . . . 

Arnold's friend and brother officer, Colonel Harry Living- 
ston, was equally in love with a girl many years younger than 
himself. The girl was Nancy Shippen! In fact Colonel Living- 
ston resigned from active service to pursue his suit . . . either 
for that reason or because he had not been made a brigadier- 
general. He was among the first of the beaux to step upon 
Nancy's stage, a dominating and sinister figure. Yet from the 
beginning Nancy's father favored his suit. Not only was he a 
son of the house of Livingston, that wealthy, loyal and famous 
New York family, but he was also a distinguished officer of the 
Continental Army. Having raised his own company for the 
Canadian campaign of 1775, Colonel Harry Livingston had 
joined forces with his brother-in-law General Montgomery and 
General Arnold in the ill-fated attack on Quebec. When Mont- 
gomery was killed and Arnold severely wounded, Livingston 
was beside them in the thick of the fight. In the capture of 
Chambly he performed such valorous feats that the Continental 
Congress, on December 12, 1775, resolved, "That this Congress 
will' make a present of a sword of the value of $100 to Captain 
Henry B. Livingston as a testimony of his services at Chambly 
Canada to this country and that they will embrace the first op- 
portunity of promoting him in the Army." Transferred then to 
the Continental Army, he served as aide-de-camp to General 



Schuyler. In the engagement at Quaker Hill, R. L, he per- 
formed meritorious services. That he was selfish, imperious, 
licentious, the black sheep of his family were circumstances 
that in Philadelphia faded into oblivion before his wealth and 
his high social station and his distinguished military career. 

But in dealing with Nancy her father must be astute! In one 
of his letters to her from headquarters, Dr. Shippen said of 
Livingston: "Yesterday I dined at General Greenes & at 3 
oClock who should come in, guess. He looks mighty well & I 
never will consent unless you try to be very clever too & deserve 
him. I wont tell you what he said neither till your Mamma 
writes me you are a good Girl Your affect Papa" 


On the eighteenth of April, 1779, the marriage of Nancy's 
cousin Peggy "Shippen to Benedict Arnold took place at her 
father's home on Fourth Street. The wedding immediately fol- 
lowed the execution of a deed for Peggy to Mount Pleasant, 
one of the most imposing houses and property in the city. Her 
father and John and Samuel Powel were appointed trustees, 
thus assuring Peggy the valuable estate in the event of her 
husband's death and securing her future. 



A new French Minister to the United States, the Chevalier 
de la Luzerne, was coming to succeed the Sieur Gerard, who 
had asked to be recalled because his health had failed in the 
climate of Philadelphia. With him were the first Secretary of 
the Legation, Barbe de Marbois, and the Chevalier's personal 
secretary, M. Louis Guillaume Otto, who was an attache. Car- 
penter's Mansion, also known as the "Old Graeme Place" and 
"John Dickinson's House," was selected for their American 
home and headquarters. 

At this time, September, 1779, no trace remained of its use 
two years before as a military hospital and graveyard. Closed 
during the British occupation, it had continued empty after the 
enemy left, and stood silent, dilapidated and forlorn. Grass 
grew over the innumerable graves of the Continental soldiers 
who had died there and were buried in its grounds and in the 
spacious green beyond its courtyard, later named Washington 
Square for the commander-in-chief. 

Nancy Shippen's grandfather knew the house when he was 
young, as his father did before him. Her own father could 
remember the long range of fine cherry trees in its front court- 
yard on Chestnut Street, when he was a boy, and how Governor 
Thomas's Lady would invite all the boys in the neighborhood 
to help themselves. He remembered too that every May Day 
the little girls were given bouquets and nosegays from its gar- 
dens. Then during the period of the First Continental Congress 
it became the home of that Friend who was "The Penman of 
the Revolution," Honourable Mr. John Dickinson. He added 
to the house a new front "of modern construction" facing Chest- 



nut Street. A number of historic documents, among them the 
Declaration of Rights of the Stamp Act Congress, the First and 
Second Petitions to the King, and the first draft of the Articles 
of Confederation, were undoubtedly outlined and prepared 
within its walls. Another memory of the old house in Nancy's 
own time was a strange story of how a mother came to seek her 
son who was of the Pennsylvania line, dead at the "Old Graeme 
House." She found him there stark and cold just before he was 
to be buried. But she ministered unto him in faith, prayer and 
hope, and a miracle came to pass. In her arms her son woke 
from the dead and lived! So the place appointed for the nation's 
first French Legation, and indeed the first foreign legation in 
the United States, had its memories rooted in the city's earliest 
colonial days and also in the time of the Revolution. 

Now the house was being changed inside and out, repaired, 
remodeled, fitted up and furnished for the "splendid mansion 
of the Chevalier de la Luzerne" and his suite. From the day 
the Frenchmen set foot in Philadelphia, these friendly strangers 
from America's beloved ally came into the hearts of the people. 

The pattern of diplomacy devised by Luzerne for those crit- 
ical and perilous times for the Colonies and for France is de- 
scribed by the Marquis de Chastellux: 

The conduct of the Chevalier de la Luzerne in America justified 
every idea that has been formed of the superior skill and address 
of the French nation on embassies, and in the cabinet, He not 
only conformed to the manners, and customs of the country, but 
he studied the character of every individual of the least impor- 
tance. He rose early in the morning, and watched the hour that 
best suited their convenience, to wait on the Members of Congress, 
and the leading men of state: at dinner he received company of 
all political complexions . . . He paid his court particularly to 
the ladies in the suspected families, an evidently wise policy; in 
this class, he was supposed to have a very agreeable, as well as 

7 6 


useful acquaintance, in the two Miss C 's, who put no restraint 

upon their tongues, but were well informed of all the transactions 
of their party. 

Whenever he could not himself be present, Mr. Marbois, and 
Mr. Ottaw, [Otto] the Secretaries were distributed, so that you 
could not make an afternoon's visit to a whig or tory family in 
the city, without being sure to meet with this political General 
or one of his Aides de Camp. When he made a public entertain- 
ment, and the presence of the tory ladies gave offense to those of 
the patriotic party, he always pleaded ignorance, contrived to shift 
the blame from himself, and throw it on the Secretaries, who were 
left to fight the battle in the best way they could over tHe tea 
table 5 but all this was carried on with undescribable address, and 
so managed as to keep all parties in good humour with him. He 
indulged every man's peculiarities, and bestowed the petites at- 
tentions on all. It is thus the French maintain their ascendency 
in the cabinet, which is worth a thousand victories, and their su- 
periority in the Courts of Europe, under every varied form of 
Government, from Holland to Constantinople. . . . 

In such a school of diplomacy under tutelage of the master 
diplomat Luzerne, for to the young attache it was a school, 
Louis Otto brought his own resources of inheritance, education 
and character. He had come to serve Luzerne as secretary in 
1776, while still a student of public law at Strasbourg. Of an 
ancient family of distinction, originally from Alsace, Louis 
Guillaume Otto was born at Kork, in the Grand Duchy of 
Baden, August 7, 1754. His brother Jacques was also in the 
French diplomatic service. Their father, Jacques Guillaume 
Otto, was confidential counsellor of the Landgrave of Hesse 
Darmstadt, and his father before him had occupied the same 
office to the court of Hesse Darmstadt. With such a background 
and a certain natural finesse, it was not surprising that M. Otto 
was very soon termed with M. Marbois "the two petit minis- 
teres of france." 



Speaking of the first legation in America, the Marquis de 
Chastellux said he could not desire any more agreeable quarters 
for refreshment than the house of the Chevalier de la Luzerne 
where "our Minister maintains a considerable state and gives 
frequently great dinners." 

The popular Philadelphia hostess Mrs. Theodorick Bland, 
who was Martha Dangerfield of Virginia and one of Nancy's 
friends, said of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, "he is one of the 
most amiable, the politest easiest behav'd Men I ever knew 
I may be partial perhaps and give my opinion in too high a 
strane, as he has been particularly attentive and even friendly 
to us since I first knew him." 

Thus the old house of melancholy ghosts and stirring mem- 
ories became once more a center of pleasant hospitality and a 
place of beauty, within and without. The first secretary, Mar- 
bois, was a student of botany and much interested in the strange 
plants, shrubs, nut trees, and flowering trees of America. In an 
incredibly short time he nursed the vanished gardens back, 
healed the jagged and broken fruit trees, and planted mag- 
nolias, sassafras and tulip trees, new vines and flowers through- 
out the legation grounds. He dug, sowed and planted with his 
own hands and took pleasure, as he said, "in seeing the progress 
of my family." For him it took the place of concerts, operas, 
comedies, hunting, promenade or picture galleries of which 
there was such dearth in Philadelphia. In drawing a picture of 
this first French Legation and its surrounding neighborhood, 
M. Marbois says: ". . . imagine a square surrounded by four 
streets and covered with a fine lawn like those in England, and 
in the middle of it a large house open to the air on all sides. 
This mansion is at the western edge of the city, almost opposite 
that in which the State and Congress of Pennsylvania hold their 
sessions and spend their days in blessing France and cursing 



England, while they contemplate forcing the ktter power to 
become reasonable. On one side we have a view of the city, on 
the other, of the new prisons, the hospital and the poor- 
house . . ." 

All of the surrounding buildings were alike, dull brick with 
white marble trim, regular, symmetrical, monotonous, with the 
streets straight as strings. Only in the legation grounds were 
there little footpaths that wound through the trees and flow- 
ers. From Shippen House a corner of the odd irregular 
Swedish-fashioned second story of the legation could be seen 
when the leaves were off the trees. By the Maytime following 
the coming of the Frenchmen, the gardens of the legation were 
in full bloom. The very air about it was rich and sweet with 
the perfume of fruit and flowering trees. This gay unexpected 
toss of apple and cherry blossoms was a swinging sign in the 
wind proclaiming a new sort of tavern put up in the town! And 
at evening, especially on Sundays when Quaker Philadel- 
phia frowned and brooded in a deadly silence, there at the home 
of the friendly strangers it was smiling and every window 
blazed with light. The sound of talk and laughter came from 
its halls and sometimes strains of classic music as Louis Otto 
played his harp. 

To Nancy Shippen the French Legation became the seat of 
Romance itself. 



JL MADE today a very pleasant discovery in our parlour," so 

Monsieur Louis Otto wrote Nancy from the French Legation. 
"I can see there two of your windows and one chimney. . . . 
I assure you never was a chimney so interesting for me! " 

This may have been several weeks after they met. Or per- 
haps it was but several days. There is no mention of their first 
meeting in the letters or the journals. It undoubtedly came 
about shortly after the young diplomat's arrival in Philadelphia 
when, according to Chastellux, as Luzerne's aides-de-camp, 
Otto and Marbois, were "distributed" in the houses of the lead- 
ing families of the capital city. Though his position with the 
French Legation was a minor one, when he first appeared in 
Philadelphia and in the life of Nancy Shippen, Louis Otto was 
even then distinctly a personage. 

Soon he was composing music for her. One afternoon when 
he called and found her out, he left the MS. of his Memiet of 
Strasbwrg with this message: "Mr. Runaway presents his com- 
pliments to Miss Nancy Shippen, and is very sorry he had not 
the pleasure to see her at home. He wrote his Strasbwg M&rwet 
as well as he could and Miss Runaway knows that nobody is 
obliged to do [mutilated] A very fine evening indeed, I am not 
surprised people runs [mutilated]" 

An exchange of poems next appears. M. Otto entitled his 
endearing verses "Address to Miss A. S." 


f%- - r 

.g . 

H ' 

* o v 




V* ^ 

X-, 1 ft &o 
^ v: ^ 





My Nancy, Y fi Shepards, is fair as young Light 

In her mind Nature, Sience and Sweet temper unite 

The Smiles of Complesence, the candour of Youth 
The Rosebuds of inocence, Virtue, and truth. 

She blends them with dignity, elegance, grace 
Which glow in her manners and charm in her face 

She is the joy of my Eyes, she is the pride of y* place 
Within my fond Heart shall her dear Image reign. 

For beautyes like hers ne r fade nor decay 

But blooms in Life's Automn as purelly as May 

Hence Reason and Fashion both bow at her Shrine 
And she captivates Hearts, or at least has wone mine. 

Nancy named her verses "A Poem on the Birth of the 
)auphin," subtly concealing her tribute to Louis Otto. 

An Infant muse attempts an Infants praise 
Angelic Choirs assist my votive lays 
A [u] spicious be the day that gave thee birth 
To bring fresh joy to half the polish'd Earth 
Propitious Omen! of thy happy reign 
Which no unroyal act shall ever stain 
See joy triumphant gladens every face 
That one is added to the princely race 
Where magnanimity & wisdom join 
To make the name of Lewis half divine 


In response to these graceful lines Louis wrote: 

To Amanda. 

Notwithstanding your suspect behaviour of last Evening, I can 
iot believe that I am the object of those beautiful verses. Their 
nerit therefore consists more in the verses themselves, than in 
heir application, but particularly, in the proof you gave me of 



your Friendship in gratifying my curiosity. -Last evening offerd 
me some of those happy moments which compensat for all the 
miseries and disappointments of human life and give us a taste of 
heaven. I am not vain enough to believe that you felt it with me, 
but at least let me be sure that you was not quite unhappy, and 
that amongst all your indifferent acquaintances I am the less dis- 
agreeable. You do not write me because You hwe nothing to say, 
and I write not so often as I would because I am afraid to say too 
much; and though the first is not very flattering for me, I admire 
even that candour, with which you own it. 

P.S. I am sorry to see that your verses are very good, because 
according to my principles a Lover is a bad Poet. 

Friday morning. 

Presently it became M. Otto's custom to take his daily walk 
down to Fourth and Prune Streets and saunter along, from 
there to Spruce Street, "to reconnoitre her house" as he phrased 
it, and survey the parlour windows. Precisely when or how 
Nancy suggested "the contrivance of the corner" does not ap- 
pear. Possibly her Mamma did not approve a tete-a-tete within 
doors! The French Diplomat had the delicacy and discretion to 
unite subtly with Mrs. Shippen, frowning upon even so much 
as a gesture on her daughter's part that might have placed the 
young girl in a disadvantageous light. 

Accordingly he wrote on a "Saturday evening i r o'clock" the 

I am sorry that I could not accept of your contrivance of the 
Corner y but I can agree with nothing which involves any danger 
or impropriety for you, and on the other side I changed my reso- 
lution and I expect a more proper time to make confidences. 
You may guess for what reason I changed just this Evening, for 
you may be sure that till 8. o'clock I was exceedingly anxious to 
tell you something which perhaps I would have repented here- 



after. As soon as my Ideas are riper on certain objects I shall be- 
come less discrete. I hope you will sleep very well after our little 

On the following day, "Sunday evening 8 o'clock," he passed 
as usual by her house ... "I peep'd through the window and 
saw a considerable Tea Company," he said, "of which by their 
situation I could only distinguish four persons. You will see the 
plan of this Company upon the next page. . . ." 


A. Old D r S Wppw sitting before the Chimney; meditating on some 
political or physical subject: having in his face a gravity mixed 
with candour: his Silver hairs falling upon his Shoulders and 
malting the most pleasing contrast with the Scarlet of his great 
coat. Looking sometimes with a sweet tenderness upon his 
lovely Grandchild. 

B. M r L w walking up and down, speaking and laughing by inter- 
vails; participating every pleasure with the Company, except 
but that he gives himself by his agreeable conversation. 

C. Miss N^ before the teatable, in an artfully neglected Dress, 
her hairs flying a little upon her neck, appearing sometimes to 
be absent, sometimes forcing a laughter by a soft inclination 
of her back and head, and by hiding her face with her hands, 
probably in order to shew them without being suspected of 
vanity} changing her Seat several times, but allways pretty far 
from the candel: and looking however as lovely as an Angel. 

Nota. This last expression is not designed to make up for 
the others, it is really founded, and is by no body 
felt in so high a degree as by the Spy who stands 
before the window. 

D. M r * S***** lost in sweet meditations. Probably thinking 
"Where can he Stay so long? this evening he must be arrived 
"at 'Trenton,' and then I may see him tomorrow at least after 
"tomorrow. Dear Brother when shall I clasp thee in my arms! 
"When shall I repeat thee that after William thou has the first 



"place in my heart." &c. &c. These anxious thoughts do not pre- 
vent M r? S . . . from expressing upon all her features that 
heavenly mildness, which is the Characteristick of her Soul. 
She smiles sometimes in order to conceal her grief and this 
complaisance gives a new luster to her Sensibility. 

E. F. G. Some Strangers which the Spy could not distinguish. 

H. Cyrus, [the negro butler] standing in the middle of the room. 
half asleep. 

I. M r O tt9 standing before the window and looking very dis- 
tressed that the Almanack does not allow him to walk in: his 
Eyes FixM at the letter C. he wishes that he may be the happy 
object of the absence which he observes. 
After having taken this inspection I went on to my ceremonious 
visites where I made but a little Stay, in order to give you 
sooner this account of my indiscretions and submit it to your 
indulgence. I hope you will pardon the Spy for the good use he 
made of his Discoveries, and for his sincerity in telling them. 

Nancy had as gay a humour as his and a fancy equally as deli- 
cate, and the same verve! "You are a lady what would make a 
great noise in France," M. Otto said: "I studied your conduct 
since I have the pleasure of knowing you, nothing escaped my 
watchfull eye. Lovers are very quick sighted} every little un- 
meaning favour is precious for them 5 this Evening I received 
my tea from your own hands whilst the rest of the Company 
was served by a black Servant. Perhaps you did not think on it, 
but I valued it more than any thing I ever received from an- 
other hand. But not withstanding I was foolish enough to leave 
you at 9. o'clock, when I could enjoy a delightfull tete a tete. 
That thought puts me in the most violent passion and nothing 
can cure me but telling you that I adore you more than ever." 

Nancy's harpsichord became an instrument through which 
each might find expression for that which could not be written 
or spoken. In her father's letters to Tommy, several times 



throughout that winter he mentions ". . . Otto and Nancy 
playing harpsichord together . . ." 

The "joys of a simple modest life" for a lady were drawn, 
in vigorous strokes, by M. Otto "... a pretty good library, 
leisure to improve herself in her studies and be able to practice 
Musick ... a Spinet and Guittar . ." and in another let- 
ter: "Is there any greater Blessing in the world than that which 
love affords?" 

Through the wilderness of false values, silly affectations and 
provincialisms that made so large a part of Nancy's world her 
foreign lover cut a wide swath} gave her a view of horizons far 
beyond Philadelphia's ken, "I will take a ride on my Fancy," 
he said, "it will carry me far." 

The increasing tenderness of their friendship became still 
further accentuated as the months went by. When Nancy left 
the city for a few days' visit to friends in the country Louis 
wrote her: 

Thursday morning. 
To Phillis. 

The City is dead for me since you left it, the finest houses 
appear to be mere cottages, and the largest company is become a 
Sollitude to your Friend. I have some reasons to believe that you 
think sometimes on me but never enough to be a compensation 
of a long absence, and 3. or 4. days are an eternity. I will allways 
remember what you told me Tuesday evening and what you do not 
like to hear me repeat. I will not go to see you this evening and I 
am vain enough to believe that you will sooner return in town, 
when you can not see ... I hope you will easily guess what I 
mean and tell me if I am right. I am very unhappy that I must 
write you in a language that is not my own and even in my own 
language I should be at a loss to express my feelings. Be indulgent, 
my dear friend, and think that in your company I may soon acquire 
more facility. 



Friday morning. 

I spent last evening in the Garden of my beautiful! neighbour. 
She was just gathering some roses that she offered me with the 
greatest simplicity. I was sorry to be not able to see them die on 
that Bossom, which I wish to see palpitating for Damon. Than I 
meditated in Moonlight and I never found that luminary so inter- 
esting. I thought that you may possibly look at it in the same 
moment and I began to be jealous. I am ashamed of my wishes. 
I desired that you may be in so a disagreeable Company that you 
may be obliged to return tomorrow. I am too selfish indeed. 

I hope my dear Friend you will correct my bad Stile. I believe I 
ought to write not at all, but I have no other pleasure when you 
are absent. 

I may guess whether yott gave me leave the other Day or not; 
this is very hieroglyphic and I read in vain a thousand times your 
dear note; I can not guess what is the meaning of that expres- 
sion: may I believe that it was Leave? no answer? 

Your Mama will take a ride this Evening to see youj she was 
so kind to write me but I believe I shall not go. She told me 
Absence is the taste [test] of Love, and so I prefer to have that 
taste and oblige you to return tomorrow. Could you be cruel 
enough to disappoint me? What a delightful! evening I shall 
spend tomorrow. Never speak of your journey to Virginia 5 it dis- 
tresses me. 

With Nancy's arch reply a copy of which was attached to 
her lover's letter, the enigma grows! 

To Damon 

If you are guilty of a great offence, I would not contradict you 
for the world, but I will not frown this Evening, tho' your apology 
is a very poor one: I do not give you Leave, & you may guess 
whether I did the other Evening or not. You are the most agree- 
able questioner in the world, but I cant immagine what you Di- 
lemma can be. I have not been taught to return Evil for evil. 

And Louis Otto, being Damon, replied: 


I am very much obliged for your kind answer, which I believe 
could only be understood by me and by no body else. The delight- 
ful Evening I spent, left so a soft impression in my breast, that I 
think I will sleep but very little this night. Very often I think I 
understand you when you look at me or when you press my hand 
in yours, and notwithstanding I wish every moment to be more 
certain of your Sentiments. If your heart is not very troublesome 
to me till to morrow Evening, I hope you will leave it in my 
possession 5 you can not trust it to a more faithful care than 
mine . . . 

It must have been a charming note from Nancy which made 
Louis declare: 

Never was pleasure equal to mine when I read the few flatter- 
ing lines, which are more than I expected, but not more than I 
deserved. Your kindness can only be paralleld by my gratitude, 
which is boundless. I have so much to jeel and think for my- 
self that I can not do much for others, but I am determined to 
live for you. I would write volums on this Subject if I could 
follow my inclinations, but being afraid of tiring you by a long 
letter I am obliged to tell you in a few words, how much I am 

Your best Friend 
& humble Servant. 


... a scene of y* blackest villany had been just disclosed; that 
Arnold was gone off to the enemy; that Col. Andre, General Clin- 
ton's aid and confidant was apprehended in disguise in camp; that 
West Point (where Arnold commanded) was to be the sacrifice, 
and that all the dispositions were made for delivering it up last 
Monday, the 25 th ult at night. 

It is further said that G. Washington arrived at West-Point 
just after y e Plot was discovered. He lodged there that night, and 
was to have been given up with the Fort. G. Arnold was, by his 
orders, pursued, but without effect. Col. Andre 'tis said is con- 
demned to be hanged. 


On seventh day last, y* 3oth ult c was exhibited and paraded 
through the streets of this City, a ridiculous figure of Gen * Arnold, 
with two faces, and the Devil standing behind him pushing him 
with a pitchfork. At y 6 front of y* cart was a very large lanthorn of 
green paper, with a number of inscriptions setting forth his crime 
&c. &c. Several hundred men and boys with candles in their hands 
all ranks 5 many Officers, y* Infantry, men with Guns and Bayo- 
nets, Tag, Rag &c, somewhere near y Coffee-House. They burnt 
y* Effigy (instead of y* Body, as was said in y* Papers). 

This grim news broke rudely upon the tender intimacies of 
the two young lovers. West Point had all but been delivered 
over to the enemy by Benedict Arnold and the very existence 
of the new republic threatened with collapse. In Philadelphia 
the citizens burned the man in effigy, and when his wife re- 
turned to the city they would have none of her. She was 

At that very time, early in September, 1780, Louis Otto's 
chief, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, was absent, in Hartford, 
Connecticut, with the Marquis de Lafayette, leaving Marbois 
acting charge d'affaires. Marbois says they were attending a 
conference with General Washington and his staff, to outline 
and determine the future operations of the war, and to arrange 
for the disposition of the troops of the second French expedition 
under the Comte de Rochambeau, which had arrived off Rhode 
Island a few weeks before. 

In the face of Arnold's treason and the narrowly averted 
disaster to the Revolution, each member of the French Lega- 
tion was on guard, and the Tory ladies of Philadelphia culti- 
vated, doubtless, every hour of the day and evening. Marbois 
and Otto worked with Luzerne and Lafayette as a single unit 
in a new survey of the American situation, and recommenda- 

1 Extract of a Letter to Congress: Journal of Elizabeth Drinker, pp. 128- 



tions to Congress for more effective aid to Washington in his 
plans for the reconstruction and rehabilament of the Conti- 
nental armies. 

The troops of the army of Rochambeau, four regiments 
strong swung off the boats anchored off Rhode Island. They 
wore cocked hats or grenadier caps with white and rose-colored 
plumes. Each man's hair was carefully done in a queue. Their 
fresh uniforms were white 5 white and green, or white with 
rose-colored facings ... a bow of promise to the stricken 
land! And very soon, the nation forgot the storm of the night 
before and woke to greet with lifted hearts this new rainbow 
arching the ocean from France. 

The officers in command of these four dashing regiments were 
of the illustrious families of France, members of noble houses 
renowned in history for centuries past. All Philadelphia was 
thrilled at the news that these noble-born young men of the 
staff of Rochambeau were coming with their own Lafayette to 
visit the capital city! Among them would be Lafayette's brother- 
in-law "the elegant leftenant-colonel of the Soissonnais, Comte 
de Noailles" and the Chevalier de Chastellux, major-general 
of the expedition, M. de Damas, the Comte de Darnes and 
the Duke de Lauzan, commander of the Legionary Corps. 
Already a favorite in Philadelphia, where he was convalescing 
from his wounds, was Colonel Dubysson, Lafayette's former 
companion, now aid to the Baron de Kalb. Henri de la Motte, 
too, was another one of the Frenchmen of distinction who had 
come some time before to live among them and remained. 

The French Legation was placed at the disposal of the gal- 
lant young French visitors. The Chevalier de la Luzerne with 
his aids, Marquis de Marbois and M. Otto, arranged every de- 
tail for their comfort and entertainment. 

While Lafayette intended to make a military reconnaissance 

8 9 


of the former battlefields and of the lines thrown up by the 
British in the earlier days of the Revolution, nevertheless there 
were other considerations, as Lafayette himself would be the 
first to know! As soon as possible after their arrival in Phila- 
delphia, Major General, the Chevalier de Chastellux,* went 
forth to reconnoitre ... It was ladies he saw . . . among 
whom he marks Nancy Shippen as "distinctive." He tells about 
it himself, thus: 

At the end of this morning's walk I was like a bee, so laden with 
honey that he can hardly regain his hive. I returned to the Cheva- 
lier de la Luzerne's, with my memory well stored, and after taking 
food for the body as well as mind, I dedicated my evening to 
society. I was invited to drink tea at Colonel Eland's, that is to say, 
to attend a sort of assembly pretty much like the conversazzioni of 
Italyj for tea here, is the substitute for the rinfresco. Mr. How- 
ley, Governor of Georgia, Mr. Izard y Mr. Arthur Lee, (the 
two last lately arrived from Europe) M. de la Fayette, M. de 
Noailles, M. de Damas, &c. were of the party. The scene was dec- 
orated by several married and unmarried ladies, among whom, 
Miss Shiftyeny daughter of Dr. Shippen, and cousin of Mrs. 
Arnold,, claimed particular distinction. Thus we see that in Amer- 
ica the crimes of individuals are not reflected on their family ; 
not only had Dr. Shippen's brother given his daughter to the 
traitor Arnold, a short time before his desertion, but it is generally 
believed, that being himself a tory, he had inspired his daughter 
with the same sentiments, and that the charms of this handsome 
woman contributed not a little to hasten to criminality a mind 
corrupted by avarice, before it felt the power of love. . . . 

The assembly, or subscription ball, of which I must give an ac- 
count, may here be properly introduced. At Philadelphia, as at 
London, Bath, Spa, &c. there are places appropriated for the young 
people to dance in, and where those whom that amusement does 
not suit, play at different games of cards j but at Philadelphia, 
games of commerce are alone allowed. A manager, or master of 
ceremonies presides at these methodical amusements: He presents 

* Chastellux's "Travels in North-America," Vol. I, page a 34. 


to the gentlemen and ladies, dancers, billets folded up containing 
each a number; thus fate decides the male or female partner for 
the whole evening. All the dances are previously arranged, and the 
dancers are called in their turns. These dances, like the toasts we 
drink at table, have some relation to politics: one is called the 
success of the campaign, another, the defeat of Hurgoyne, and 
a third, Clinton's retreat. The managers are generally chosen from 
amongst the most distinguished officers of the army; this important 
place is at present held by Colonel Wilkinson, who is also clothier 
general of the army. . . . 

... at Philadelphia, as in London, it is the custom to dine at 
five, and frequently at six. I should have liked it as well had the 
company been not so numerous, as to oblige me to make acquaint- 
ance with a part of the town; but our minister maintains a con- 
siderable state, and gives frequently great dinners, so that it is 
difficult not to fall into this sort of ambuscade. . . . 

Another interesting observation of customs made then by the 
Duke de la Rochefoucauld Liancourt, is: 

The Young women here enjoy a liberty, which to French man- 
ners would appear disorderly, they go out alone; walk with young 
men, and depart with them from the rest of the company in large 
assemblies; in short, they enjoy the same degree of liberty which 
married women do in France, and which married women here do 
not take. But they are far from abusing it; they endeavor to please, 
they desire to obtain husbands, and they know that they shall not 
succeed if their conduct becomes suspected. Sometimes they are 
abused by the men, who deceive them, but then they add not to 
the misfortune of having engaged their hearts to a cruel man the 
regret of deserving it, which might give them remorse. When 
they have obtained a husband, they love him because he is their 
husband; and because they have not an idea that they can do 
otherwise; they revere custom by a kind of state religion which 
never varies . . . 

Of all "the most pretty young ladies of Philadelphia," Nancy 
Shippen was the one elected to dance with Vicomte de Noailles 



at a ball at the legation after the marriage to William Bingham 
of Nancy's cousin Nancy Willing. In his letter to Tommy of 
November 10, 1780, Dr. Shippen has this reference to the 
wedding and to the part his daughter took: 

. . . Mr. Bingham & Nancy Willing married two weeks ago. 
. . . Nancy [was] Bridesmaid & dressed off in all her Plumes & 
[name illegible] said she cut out ye Bride which did not please her 
a little . . . Your Cousin Ludwell will tell you all the news, politi- 
cal & domestic he is a very clever youth . . . 

It is probably this wedding to which Marquis de Chastellux 
refers when he again speaks of Nancy Shippen in his record of 
a ball at the French Legation at this time: 

I knew there was to be a ball at the Chevalier de la Luzerne's, 
which made me less in a hurry to return thither: it was, however, a 
very agreeable assembly, for it was given to a private society, on 
the occasion of a marriage. There were near twenty women, twelve 
or fourteen of whom were dancers } each of them having her part- 
ner, as is the custom in America. Dancing is said to be at once the 
emblem of gaiety and of love 5 here it seems to be the emblem of 
legislation, and of marriage} of legislation inasmuch, as places 
are marked out, the country dances named, and every pro- 
ceeding provided for, calculated and submitted to regulation} 
of marriage, as it furnishes each lady with a partner, with whom 
she dances the whole evening, without being allowed to take 
another. It is true that every severe law requires mitigation, 
and that it often happens, that a young lady after dancing the 
two or three first dances with her partner, may make a fresh 
choice, or accept of the invitation she has received} but still the 
comparison holds good, for it is a marriage in the European 
fashion. Strangers have generally the privilege of being compli- 
mented with the handsomest women. The Comte de Darnes had 
Mrs. Bingham for his partner, and the Vicomte de 'Noailles, Miss 
Shippen. Both of them, like true philosophers, testified a great re- 
spect for the manners of the country, by not quitting their hand- 
some partners the whole evening} in other respects they were the 


admiration of all the assembly, from the grace and nobleness with 
which they danced. ... I may even assert, to the honour of my 
country, that they surpassed a Chief Justice of Carolina (Mr. 
Pendleton) and two members of Congress, one of whom (Mr. 
Duane) passed however for being by ten per cent more lively 
than all the other dancers. The ball was suspended, towards mid- 
night, by a supper, served in the manner of coffee, on several 
different tables. On passing into the dining room, the Chevalier 
de la Luzerne presented his hand to Mrs. Morris, and gave her 
the precedence, an honour pretty generally bestowed on her, as she 
is the richest woman in the city, and all ranks here being equal, 
men follow their natural bent, by giving the preference to 
riches . . . 

In one of Martha Eland's letters describing this entrancing 
period of the French occupation of Philadelphia beside which 
the British occupation fades into dull drab tone! she says: 
. . . "for I well remember the Balls at the french minister 
and particularizing a petit maitre oh my dear such a swarm 
of french beaus, Counts, Viscounts, Barons & Chevaliers, . . . 
and your old acquaintance Col. Dubysson aid de Camp to the 
Baron de Kalb figures away here amazingly among the Gallants 
of the Season he has recovered from his wounds and as an 
acquaintance of my Charming Sister (yr. Ladyship) visits me 
regularly every day . . ."* 

In the gay rounds of tea-drinking dinners, balls, assemblies, 
Nancy Shippen became the center of the Frenchmen's hearts 
and eyes and must have "shone" to her family's full content and 
to Louis Otto's delight! At Shippen House was spent in pleas- 
ant informality the last afternoon before the French officers 
rejoined their regiments at Newport for the long period of 
arduous preparation preceding the operations around New York 
and their eventual inarch to the southward, to Virginia. Arthur 

2 The Virginia Magazine of History and Biograf&y> January, 1935, p. 42. 



Lee was one of the family of Shippen House at this time, hap- 
pily reunited with them after many years. There was a large 
gathering of the Lee clan there to welcome him, among them 
his sister Hannah Lee Corbin of Peckatone, and their nephews 
young Thomas and Ludwell Lee of Chantilly, sons of Richard 
Henry Lee. Possibly Arthur and his two sisters were the "grave 
personages" the Marquis de Chastellux refers to in his descrip- 
tion of their last visit to a Philadelphia home: 

M. de la Fayette had made a party with the Vicomte de Noailles 
and the Comte de Damas, to go the next morning, first to German- 
Town (which the two Utter had not seen) and from thence to the 
old camp at Whitemarsh. . . . Having taken our view, we re- 
turned briskly to the Chevalier de la Luzerne's, where dinner came 
very a propos, after being eight hours on horseback, and riding six 
and thirty miles. In the afternoon we drank tea with Miss Shippen. 
This was the first time, since my arrival in America, that I had seen 
music introduced into society, and mix with its amusements. Miss 
Rutledge played on the harpsichord, and played very well. Miss 
Shippen sung with timidity, but with a pretty voice. Mr. Ottaw, 
[Otto], Secretary to M. de la Luzerne, sent for his harp, he ac- 
companied Miss Shippen, and played several pieces. Music nat- 
urally leads to dancing: the Vicomte de Noailles took down a violin, 
which was mounted with harp strings, and he made the young 
ladies dance, whilst their mothers and other grave personages chat- 
ted in another room. When music, and the fine arts come to prosper 
at Philadelphia} when society once becomes easy and gay there, 
and they learn to accept of pleasure when it presents itself, without 
a formal invitation, then may foreigners enjoy all the advantages 
peculiar to their manners and government, without envying any 
thing in Europe. 



[Addressed] Mr Thomas Lee Shippen 
at Mr Booths Academy 
near Frederick Town, Maryland 

Thursday evening 

Nov. 9, 1780 
My dear Son: 

. . . Your Mamma is highly delighted with her brother & 3 
nephews about herj Otto & Nancy playing Harpsichord together. 
Your Mamma is well & expects the next letter. Nancy will write 
by the first private opportunity & both send much love. M r Otto 
visits Tuesday & Saturday Col. Harry Livingston often. I intend 
to visit y* army & my hospitals in 3 or 4 days & be absent perhaps 
3 or 4 weeks. 
God bless you my d r Son. 

W. Shippen, Jr. 

Nancy's father was describing the scene at Shippen House. 
While Louis Otto was acutely aware of Colonel Livingston's 
position there he did not sense the actual peril impending, be- 
cause perhaps his heart and mind were so at one with Nancy's. 

Nancy had been cajoled by her father into accepting Henry 
Livingston as a suitor. Possibly talk of the town was also a fac- 
tor, for was not a match with a Livingston of New York of far 
more emprise than with, say, a Bingham? The young girl soon 
found that her vanity and "coquettery" had led her into a cul- 
de-sac . . . and could Monsieur Otto please show her how to 
get out? M. Otto could! Was he not in the diplomatic service of 
France? Summoning fancy and humor to his aid, he engaged 
to dispose of his rival in the following "Exercise in English": 



Monday evening. 

Being anxious on what subject I should exercise my English Cor- 
respondence I fell upon our last conversation and I contrived to 
write the following letter which I have the honour of submitting to 
your indulging eye. 

"Letter of Milady Old-fashion to Miss Inconstant." 

Dear Friend, 

You acquaint me in your last letter with a Deficiency, which is to 
common in our Sex as to look upon it as a crime when it is kept in 
its proper boundaries I mean vanity and Coquetterie. I thank 
you that you made me the Confident of your feelings before they 
were carried too far and I shall reward this complyance with the 
most tender reception and with answering your questions with the 
greatest Sincerity. You tell me that you encouraged several months 
the addresses of Lord D . . . . though you did not feel any inclina- 
tion for him and that you did it only in order to gratify your 
vanity, that you did not think on the consequences of your Behaviour 
and that you feel yourself in a great perplexity how to disintrigate 
yourself. I love you too much, my dear, to look with Severity at 
your conduct and I shall only endeavour to acquaint you with all 
the dreadfull consequences which may attend it. 

A Young Lady, who is first introduced in the world ought to 
act with the greatest precaution. Every one of her Steps lays a 
foundation to the opinion which the publick will have of her for 
the future. She ought particularly to respect all those, who honnour 
her by their addresses and never to play with their feelings. There 
is something so humiliating for a man in seeing himself deluded 
by a Lady that he will never forgive her 3 he will find means of 
ridiculing the object of his Love as soon as he sees himself despised 
and there is allmost no man capable of resisting in this case to the 
sweet temptations of revenge. Your heart is too pure and you have 
too little experience of the world to know how easy it is to injure 
the Caracter of a Lady and how will you expect mercy from a man 
whom you offended in the most cruel manner? You are the ag- 
gressor and you ought to expect all that disappointment vanity and 
revenge can inspire to an incensed lover. 


Without encouraging the addresses of those which we despise, 
there is an art of getting rid of their persecutions by a cold, indif- 
ferent, though polite, Behaviour. But when we have been vain 
enough to incourage feelings which we can not participate, the 
means of disengaging us are very difficult. It is mortifying for a 
young Lady to appear insignificant or thoughtless, however this is 
the only measure to be taken in the case you mention. If you tell 
Lord D . . . . that you deluded him, he will despise you as much 
as he loved you. If you show any preference to another he will be 
much more incensed and acquaint every body with your Coquet- 
terie. But if you endeavour to be of an inconsistent, disagreeable, 
contradicting, even extravagant humour in his presence, if you af- 
firm in one moment what you denied in another, if you appear to 
him to be quite insensible and indifferent for every thing except for 
pleasure, if you conceal with art the advantages of a liberal educa- 
tion, he will soon be more moderate in his feelings and at last be 
astonished that he ever was in love with so an extraordinary Being 
as you. I own that it will be very difficult for you to act this part, 
but necessity will probably make it easy. Perhaps he will mention 
your extravagances in publick, but nobody will believe him, because 
you will endeavour to appear to all, except him, as prudent, as 
modest, as reserved, as consistent, as well bred as you are. I have 
too good an opinion my dear Friend of your heart as to believe, 
you would injure it for the sake of your vanity. 

You will think Milady Old fashion a very old fashioned Caracter, 
but notwithstanding there may be some truth in her observations 
and as she has a great deal of experience I should follow her 
principles If I was a Lady. I own that she knows exceedingly 
well the dispositions of our Sex and that she has probably been a 
very great coquette herself a forty years ago. Those Ladies are 
like old Soldiers who after having lost their limbs in a hundred 
different expeditions are the more proper to give good instructions 
to a young Warrior. 

Lewis Scrtblerus* 



How Nancy took the French Diplomat's advice is told in an- 
other chapter of this narrative. Very soon Louis's own love took 
precedence over advice* 

Thursday Evening at 9. o'clock. 

I never felt so disagreeable as in this moment. Leaving you in 
so abrupt a manner I was persuaded it must be very late. But how 
great was my astonishment when I heard it is only 9. o'clock, and 
how sorry must I not be that I did not take this opportunity of 
entertaining you of those objects which I mention in my last note. 
I was so uneasy the whole evening to see Company in your house 
at a time, where I could possibly speak alone with you, that I 
thought it at least midnight when M r B . . . took his hat, though 
I flattered myself by your Smile when I took leave that you would 
not be sorry to see me stay. I am so distressed that I had run back 
immediately, when there was not an impropriety in it. I have now 
no other ressource than my pen, though I feel so unhappy, that I 
can not write one tollerable Sentiment. You will forgive me, dear 
Friend, I was never less master of my feelings. Perhaps I rely too 
much upon your indulgence but how can you indulge too much 
a man who lives only for you. 

I am allways at a loss how to express myself with you. There is 
something so heavenly in my soul when I begin to -write that I 
should not be able of expressing it even in my own language. I 
had never so great a desire to please and never I felt so much my 
inferiority. Read in my Eyes, dear Miss, when I look on you, 
when I swallow with the utmost eagerness all the poison, when I 
examine with admiration those charming proportions of your per- 
son, the Symbole of the most perfect mind, when I press my Hpps 
upon your hand from which I would never be separated, or in that 
happy moment when you told me that you would rather die a 
hundred times than . . . O why could not you read in the same 
time in my heart, every one of its fibres starting at the sweet . . . 
not declaration, because you would never tell me such a thing 
. . . not information, because you can not inform me of what I 
know allready ... I do not know how to call it, but it was the 
most heavenly Music I ever heard in my life. It allways sounds in 


my Ear and I shall only forget it when I will be no more. Or 
should I have put an ill construction upon your words, should I 
have misunderstood your looks, should I be vain enough to flatter 
myself with an imaginary happiness: Speak Miss, and plunge me 
in one moment in an abyss of misery and disappointment. Mis- 
understand you? I should as well misunderstand my own feel- 

One hour after dispatching this letter to Shippen House, 
Louis Otto took his courage in his two hands and spoke his 
mind again quite plain. With all his courtesy and chivalry, the 
Frenchman had a keen sense of fair play between a man and 
woman in love "For to recyue this Saynt with honour dew." 

Thursday Evening, 10. o'clock. 

I can not forbear writing a second letter though I am afraid you 
may allready be tired with the first M r L . . . . mentioned this 
Evening some Verses and Billets doux which you shewed him. 
I am sure you did never reflect on the indelicacy of it, otherwise 
you are too good, too generous to indulge so an improper fit of 
vanity. Don't think my dear Friend that I am afraid for the fate of 
my own letters, I am too sure of your esteem to presume it, and 
too proud of loving you to fear that anybody should know it. 
Forgive my sincerity, I am so anxious of seeing you entirely perfect 
that the least Deficiency in your Caracter offends me. My fondness 
for you is boundless, but I should think myself unworthy of your 
Friendship if I could spoil your temper by the least flattery. I ex- 
pect from you the same candour in my behalf and I shall be happy 
in conforming myself entirely to your wishes. When this is the 
material advantage of Friendship, why shall it not be the same in 
Love? I hope you will believe me that it is extravagant to think 
we can admire the faults of our intiment Friends when our con- 
nexion is founded upon virtue, we ought even sooner to discover 
them by their contrast with those perfections which induced us to 
love, to cherish, to admire. I shall allways be an attentive ob- 
server of your actions but gratitude obliges you to do the same in 
my favour, and contribute to mutual happiness, which in my 



opinion consists only in moral $erjection y I am too sure of the 
purity of your heart as to think this extraordinary topic will astonish 
you; it would be ridiculed by a thousand other Ladies but those 
Ladies are not Nancy. 

My Philosophy went on with my pen in such a hurry, that my 
heart which is a very poor philosopher did not chuse to follow 
her, and as I am a greater Friend of the ktter, I left Madam 
Philosophy with her frowning Eyebrows, and came back to my 
darling. It tells me a thousand things about you, which are so 
tender and so pleasing that I promise him never to make any 
Phylosophical excursion without its Company. It is so fond of you 
that it is afraid you may turn diffident and reserved after having 
read those little observations. I confess that I am myself a little 
uneasy about it, though I use all the dissimulation which is in my 
power to appear perfectly quiet. 

Friday morning 7. o'clock. 

I awaked with the thought on you, and when the admiration of 
creatures is the most perfect Worship of the creator, I never hon- 
oured him I never adored him with more fervour. I can not tell 
you my Prayer, but you may guess it, and if you feel pleasure 
in guessing it, a great part of it is allready fulfilled, but if you 
are indifferent I shall only repeat the latter part and wish you 
as happy as you can possibly be, and if the thought on it is quite 
disagreeable to you (heaven forbid) I shall pray that you may 
never feel the thousand* part of the anxiety, the agitations, the 
torments of 

Your devoted Lewis. 

P.S. I have only a small collection of Small notes, written on 
very small paper and sometimes with a very small degree of 
Sensibility. These notes send you an humble petition for some 
sisters to keep them Company. Would you be so cruel as to refuse 
your own Children? 




Jan'y27, 1781 

[Addressed:] M r Thomas Lee Shippen 
at D r Booths Academy 
Frederick County, Maryland 
favored by 
M r McPherson. 

. . . Nancy is much puzzled between Otto & Livingston. She 
loves y* first & only esteems the last. On Monday she likes L & 
his fortune. On Tuesday even* when O comes he is the angel. 
L will consummate immediately. O not these 2 years. L has 
solicited the Father & Mother. O is afraid of a denial. In short, 
we are all much puzzled. L has 12 or 15,000 hard. O has 
nothing now, but honorable expectations hereafter. A Bird in hand 
is worth 2 in a bush. They are both sensible. O handsome. What 
do you think of it? 
Dont forget your French, be diligent, & improve & make happy 

Your affectionate friend & father 
My fingers are so cold I can 
scarcely hold y* pen. 

So Dr. Shippen wrote to his son after the Christmas festivities 
at Shippen House, when Tommy had gone back to school and 
Uncle Arthur Lee and Cousin Tom to Virginia. While the reply 
from sixteen-year-old Tommy is not available, it may be taken 
for granted that he advocated "the Bird in hand!" 

Dr. Shippen, convinced that his daughter's material advan- 
tage was at stake, set himself astutely to the business of bring- 
ing about her marriage to Livingston. He did not immediately 
curtail her attendance at the series of entertainments at the 
French Legation when Louis Otto was her escort. Martha 



Bland describes the two in a letter to her sister-in-law in Wil- 

You judge right my dear In supposing that I am taken up 
by the Gay Scenes of Philadelphia ... we had an oratorio at 
the Minister's last Tuesday, it was very clever he gives a Ball one 
week, a concert the next the Minister sacrifices his time to the 
policy of the french Court he dislikes Music, never dances and is 
a domestick Man yet he has a Ball or a Concert every week and 
his house full to dinner every day We had a Play performed by 
the Students in the College a few weeks ago when there was the 
greatest crowd I ever saw. I went accompany'd by Mr. Marboys 
& Mr. Otto, the two petit ministers of france, Don Francisco the 
Spanish Minister and Miss Shippen we went at 5 o'clock but 
found several hundred people in the Yard waiting for the opening 
of the dores they were shut & we were not inclined to join the 
crowd so drove round two or more squares of the City when we 
returned we found the dores open'd and the people climbing up the 
Walls to get in Some mounted upon the heads of others and in 
short, such a mob that it is impossible to describe if Garrick had 
been to perform it could not have been greater Mr. Marboy took 
hold of one of my arms don francisco of the other Mis Shippin 
of his and Mr. Otto of hers in this manner we attempted to get 
through the crowd They forced us about half way the passage 
but I was all most suffocated and declared I would not go up the 
Stairs a large woman broke our chain by forcing Mr. Marboy's 
hand from mine our little party retired to a room in the College 
untill the Hurly Burly was over . . , 8 

Nancy's mother approved of Louis Otto and her daughter's 
union with him. She wrote a tender and sympathetic letter to 
him, favorably responding to his letter asking consent for their 

8 The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, January, 1935, pp. 
41-44. Randolph and Tucker Letters. Letter from Martha Dangerfield Bland 
(Mrs. Theodorick Bland the Younger of Cawsons) to Frances Bland Tucker 
(Mrs. St. George Tucker). Loaned by courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. George P. 



marriage. On the other hand, Dr. Shippen, while not openly re- 
fusing his consent, at once took measures to restrict the visits of 
the French Diplomat to twice a week, after Louis had "acquired 
the custom" of calling almost daily on Nancy. How disturbed 
was the young Frenchman is shown in his letter of "Monday 
10. o'clock in the Evening." 

During Nancy's enforced seclusion, Otto would not have 
failed to remind her of his sympathy and devotion though it 
would seem that the Philadelphia post forbade their writing 
oftener than twice a week, as this first letter indicates: 

Monday 10. o'clock in the Evening 

After having reconnoitred your house I spent the most disagree- 
able evening in Company with two Ladies of your acquaintance. My 
heart was aSways running about with my witt and all the faculties 
of my mind, and did not suffer me to say one single word of con- 
sequence. I told them that I think Miss A., Miss B., Miss C, and 
Miss D. very handsome, they agreed with me and observed with 
great judgment that Miss E., Miss F., Miss G., and Miss H. are 
very 'pretty, and that they think Miss I. sings very well, and 
Miss K. has a very fine person, that Miss L. is very affected in her 
manners, that M r? M. has a very bad cold, that Miss N. is gone in 
the country and that Miss Y. is to be married with M r X. a very 
fine young man. After having settled all those important matters, 
I told them in confidence that it was very warm today much 
warmer than in France in Germany or in Venice. 

You see my dear friend what I loose by being obliged to keep 
days like the post which arrives only twice a week; but on the 
other side I am convinced with you of the necessity of it and I beg 
you only to read those foolish things which I intend to write down 
in the hours which were entirely devoted to you. This correspond- 
ence will be sometimes very comical, sometimes very serious, but 
I wish never tedious to you and when you adopt a depreciation of 
five for one I shall be very happy to receive one letter for five 
letters fafermoney. I suppose you are too good a Whig to refuse 
my request. 



I shall never forget that M r L . . . was the cause of an ex- 
planation, which made me the happiest man in the world, I shall 
love him for that, though I have no other reason for it, and 
though I had none at all a few days ago. I am extremely glad of 
all that happened, and even the tears which I saw drop from your 
Eyes afford me an agreeable remembrance, when I reflect on their 
motive. You was so kind last Evening to beg me to come tomorrow, 
a pleasure which you never did me before. Why am I not able 
to express my feelings in a better language Ah! there is no lan- 
guage for it, read it in my Eyes, in my whole conduct, or if it is 
possible, read it in your heart 

Tomorrow Evening (18 hours more which will be filled with 
thoughts on you) I shall see you again, I shall tell you so often 
how much I love you that you will be found to answer 5 <md I 
too y I love you, my dear Friend! No harmony in the world could 
equal these words flowing from your Lipps. When shall I hear 
them? I am full of expectations. My whole Life will be entirely 
devoted to you, and all my happiness shall consist in giving you 
proofs of my tender attachment 5 but I am afraid you will never 
pronounce those fatal words, and I shall be unhappy for ever. 

Please to tell me which words you did not approve of in your 
Mamma's letter. Good night. 

Nancy was either being coquettish or temperamental, for she 
gave no encouraging response to this ardent letter from her 
lover. Disconsolate and bewildered, Louis Otto resorted to the 
tactics of diplomacy. He left the city for a little while and 
wrote to his adored one: 

Dear Friend 

You was allways so reserved with me that I have [no] reason to 
believe, you felt any of those sentiments y[ou] inspired me, and 
so unhappy is my situation, that I must wish you never did. I 
understood so well the sentiments of your Mama, that I should 
think myself unworthy of your Friendship if I could alter the 
harmony of a Family (which I wish to be the happiest in the 
world) but in the same time I should be very distressed to be 



wittness of the prerogatives granted to a person, whom I can not 
think worthier of them, then me. Therefore I am obliged to use 
the only means, which may cure me of my presumtion time 
and absence. I hope that reason, pride and particularly the con- 
sideration of your own [happi]ness as much as it depends from the 
good understanding with your family, will give me in some months 
that tranquillity of mind, which will enable me to see you with- 
out danger and to enjoy all the Blessings of Friendship without 
feeling die torments of a disappointed Love. 

Time and absence apparently had the effect Louis Otto 
so desired. Seeing Nancy upon his return during the second 
week of March, 1781, he won her consent to marry him, only 
to have his triumphant joy clouded immediately thereafter 
possibly that very evening. For Nancy's mother, acting under 
her husband's instructions, requested Louis not to see Nancy 
for a period of four days. On Tuesday evening he wrote to her: 

Was it a dream, my dear Nancy? or did I really hear you pro- 
nounce that heavenly yes! which I never shall forget? but your 
whole behaviour tells me that you love me more than a com- 
mon friend! forgive my mentioning it, my heart is so full, I 
am so extremely happy, no tongue can express it, I feel it in so 
high a degree that every word appears to me weak, low, improper. 
I shall ever adore you, ever love you more than myself, I have 
the approbation of your parents, and I think I feel the approbation 
of heaven. Why must I now be four days without seeing you! 
Every Day will appear an agej it is true I may write you, but I 
must confess My dear Friend, that I am allways afraid to appear 
in my letters to a great disadvantage, however it is my only pleas- 
ure when I can not see you and you will indulge my stile for the 
motif. Good night Lovely Nancy, may Angels surround your bed 
and entertain you with delightful dreams. 

How mistaken was Louis Otto how misled with delusions 
of a woman's constancy and family commendation was proven 



very soon. Wednesday, the beginning of his enforced absence, 
was a day of misery for him. He was utterly unaware of the 
lightning-like preparations at Shippen House for rushing 
Nancy into immediate marriage with Colonel Livingston. For- 
bidden to see Nancy in her home, Louis called on one of their 
mutual friends, in the vain hope of seeing his beloved there. 
That evening, with the first doubts stirring in his mind, he 
wrote her: 

M r W . . . told me that his Ladys are not at home and so I 
could not go there, where I had probably met you. One of those 
long days is passed 5 I am afraid I may to morrow Evening forget 
your Mama's comand. What is your opinion? Shall I ... 

Did you once think on me today, or did you write me one single 
line. It is true I proposed you five for one, but I expected your 
generosity will change the bargain at least in two for one. If you 
think that question ought to be answered I shall allways contrive 
some, in order to receive one of your notes. I send you here 
some of my favourite questions. 

1. May a Lady say No when she once said yes. 

2. Is there no equality in Love as much as in Friendship? 

3. Is there any greater Blessing in the world, than that which 
Love affords? 

There was no answer. Thursday must have been an intoler- 
able day. Thoroughly alarmed, and racked with suspicion, he 
walks slowly by the parlour windows of Shippen House. There, 
unconscious of his gaze, are Nancy and Livingston. Can this be 
his own Beloved who smiles upon another? Later in the eve- 
ning he writes to her: 

I had not the courage this Evening of seeing you, for fear of 
acting against the command of your Mama, but I walked dose by 
your house, as I do every Day. I pass'd just when M r L . . . hap- 
pened to hold one of your hands and to look very happy; you 
1 06 


seem'd to be very happy yourself and this unhappy Discoverie 
mad[e] me, for one moment, the most miserable creature in the 
worldj I felt in the same time every torments of jealousy and all 
my old suspicions were revived. But after having reflected on all 
what happened between us Tuesday evening, I was ashamed of my 
suspicions and I resolved to confess it to you with my usual sin- 
cerity. One word of my dear Friend could cure me of all these 
fears, but you seem to be affraid of making me perfectly happy: 
can you doubt one moment of the Sincerity of my Sentiments, 
speak, the most difficult sacrifice will appear nothing to me, when 
the possession of Nancy is the reward. 

Indeed Miss, four days are too long, it is cruel to desire it. 

You changed my whole caracter, all my gayety is gone, I am 
dead for company and afraid to see any body. I spend my time 
only with Books, and even these old Friends of mine, often appear 
to me stupid. 

Answer me, dear Friend, or you will make me unhappy It is 
10. o'clock, I hope M r L .... is gone. Adieu. 

Twenty-four hours later Nancy writes him the truth at last. 
It is not until Sunday that he can reply: 

Dear Friend. 

Your Confidence of Friday Evening encreased so much my ill 
State of health that I was not able to see you yesterday. I was in a 
kind of Dejection, which I never felt before, taking a thousand 
resolutions and changing them again till I was a little better this 
morning and resolved to write you. 

You mention my making proposals to your P[appa] and which 
proposals? I have no others than those mentioned in my letter 
to your Mama, he read that unhappy letter which first betrayed my 
intentions and made me enjoy a few months the delightful thought 
of possessing in you all the treasures of heaven. Vain dreams of 
Blessing which I shall pay with years of grief! Your Pfappa] 
knows that my Fortune can not be compared with that of [Living- 
ston] therefore he prefers himj perhaps true wisdom would dis- 
tinguish happiness and riches, but I dont intend to censure, only to 



Complain. How can you believe that he will be more attentive to 
the remonstrations of a Stranger than he is to the feelings of his 
beloved daughter? Your tender M[ama] consulting nothing else 
than her own Sensibility and finding something in her heart which 
told her that there is no happiness without Love answered me by a 
letter which I shall preserve as a pattern of magnanimity and which 
shews that she perfectly knows our Caracter's. I shall never forget 
her kindness and engrave her name in that heart, where yours will 
eternally reign. 

I do not see for what reason in this free Country a Lady of 
Sixteen years who is handsome enough to find as many admirers, 
and who had all the advantages of a good education must be mar- 
ried in a hurry and given up to a man whom she dislikes 5 this 
observation is not at all calculated to make you oppose the desires 
of your parents and I am sure that Your principles will lead you 
to sacrifice your inclinations to your Duty. 

In the first months of our acquaintance you was surrounded with 
a number of Lovers one of which I thought to be the favoured 
one. Your exterior charms which were then the only I could ad- 
mire made therefore less impression upon me and I saw you 
without great danger. By and by the polite attention of your 
parents, your candour, your pleasing behaviour and your com- 
plaisance in listening to my broken language made me feel some- 
thing for you which I was ignorant enough to call Friendship. I 
observed then a total Desertion of your admirers and was surprised 
to spend allmost every Evening alone in your Company. But 
seeing no probability of establishing myself in this Country I was 
amazed to hear some of my acquaintances tell me that both D r and 

M r * S would be happy in a Connection with me. . . . 

J agues M. . . . after having mentioned to me all the advantages 
of being married in this Country added that if I had such inten- 
tions he recommended me his Cousin Nancy. You know my dear 
Friend that it wanted no recommendation, but these and a thousand 
other drcumstances encouraged me to indulge that growing passion, 
which only Death will Cure. I was extravagant enough to believe 
that the Behaviour of your Family was entirely owing to their 
particular Friendship for mej and unhappily I discovered only a 


few months ago the Stories which a fool contrived without think- 
ing on the Consequences, but which are the Commentary of the 
sudden change of some minds. Though I could never suppose 
you would refuse an advantageous establishment for my Sake, yet 
I thought that being myself of a Family, worthy to be Connected 
with any one in the Continent and in such circumstances as to be 
entitled in a few years to an honorable appointment, I might 
expect silent the happy hour which should connect us to your ad- 
vantage. The thought on a beloved mother and two Sisters, wh'o 
expect my return with the utmost anxiety encreased my precautious 
Behaviour till that Day of explanations with your M[ama], which 
shewing me the danger of loosing you, made me forget all other 
Considerations. Since that time you seem'd to rely upon the appro- 
bation of your P[appa] and being less reserved than before, you 
shewed me all the perfections of your heart and all the Softness of 
your dispositions. Since that time your image is so entirely present 
to me, all my thoughts are so entirely directed towards you that I 
see or feel nothing in the world but you. If we must separate 
(cruel thought) but if we must separate, let us not . follow com- 
mon souls that know only the transition from Love to indiffer- 
ence. Be my Friend as you was before and let me believe that I 
occupy allways a part of your heart as much as religion and decency 
will allow you. I promised you a thousand times that I will adore 
you for ever and that shall be my only Comfort in a life that will 
grow painfull by the remembrance of my disappointment, but 
probably much shorter than nature intended. In another world I 
shall distinguish you between a million of your Companions and 
love you in Spite of the Universe. May you allow me a pityful 
tear from those Eyes where I am used to read my happiness and 
think that I am only miserable and not guilty. My own tears begin 
to mix with my inck, and forbid me to Continue. 

I am yours for everj though perhaps you will never be mind. 

P.S. I shall attempt to see you this Evening. 

Dr. Shippen must have known that the situation was too 
critical to leave his daughter unguarded on the eve of her wed- 
ding. He could not risk having her see Louis Otto! And if Otto 



tried to see her, he failed. As for Nancy, the excitement of a 
trousseau, brought suddenly, as if by magic, served to distract 
her attention as her father planned. Undoubtedly Colonel Liv- 
ingston put in his appearance hourly. 

Dr. Shippen was convinced that it was to his daughter's in- 
estimable advantage to make an alliance with the Livingston 
family, whose vast estates and proverbially unlimited fortunes 
were scarcely touched by war's exigencies. And . . . after all 
... in comparison with a Livingston, who and what was an 
obscure young attache of a foreign legation, even though it was 
that of France? Furthermore, his own financial affairs, like those 
of almost all Philadelphia families, were demoralized by the 
war. Depreciation of currency was then, as Louis Otto had ob- 
served, "five to one." Because of his own service in the war, 
so largely gratuitous, his practice at home had gone. Nancy's 
education had been a heavy expense and Tommy's promised to 
be heavier, for he was about to be sent to Williamsburg and 
then abroad. 

From Dr. Shippen's viewpoint, therefore, his plans for his 
daughter's marriage seemed unquestionably the best! On the 
day before the wedding, March 13, 1781, he wrote to Tommy: 

. . . Your Sister thanks you for your good wishes & is much 
pleased that her choice meets your approbation j wishes much for 
your company tomorrow night & the succeeding week of Festivity} 
so do we all. 

She insists on my going with her to the North River to see her 
fixed in her own Mansion, as soon as I return which I suppose will 
be about the 20th of April. Your Mamma proposes we shall meet 
you at Baltimore & all proceed together to Chantilly 4 &c. How do 
you like this scheme? . . . 

Your affect* friend & Father 

4 Chantilly, a part of Stratford Plantation in Virginia was the home of 
Richard Henry Lee. 



Next morning Nancy woke to still more excitement and to 
the romantic idea of being a bride! Not a moment, perhaps, 
for her to consider the agony of Louis Otto, to foresee that 
which she herself was soon to suffer, or to recall her broken 
troth. Her father, usually so indulgent, so kind to her, ap- 
proved of Colonel Livingston as a husband, and perhaps he 
would know best. 

At least he had brought her to see that it was best. Then 
too, he had agreed to go with her on her bridal journey to 
the North River, and to help her arrange her new house. It 
would not really have been possible, she may have reflected, 
to marry Colonel Livingston at all unless her dear Pappa 
could be with her! 

So the wedding took place: On the fourteenth day of March 
at Shippen House in Philadelphia Anne Home Shippen, only 
daughter of William Shippen, Jr., and Alice Lee his wife, was 
married to Henry Beekman Livingston, third son of Robert R. 
Livingston III and Margaret Beekman his wife. 


JT OR Nancy the seat of the Lords of the Manor Livingston 
must have seemed another world, cold and austere and dull 
perhaps by contrast with the Virginian informality of Ship- 
pen House and the gaieties and gossip of Philadelphia. Then 
too, in the twinkling of an eye, her position and her status had 
entirely changed. No more was she Nancy, the spoiled darling 
and center of a home more southern than Philadelphian in its 
ease and warmth of life; she was instead Mrs. Henry Beek- 
man Livingston Henry's wife, mistress of a mansion of her 
own or more truly speaking, of her husband's house. 

Barely eighteen years of age, gay, vivacious, trained to the 
art of pleasing men could she become all at once a staid ma- 
tron and a grave personage? Having her father beside her at 
the first meeting with her husband's family must have been a 
relief. But when he left little Rhinebeck on the Hudson, where 
Henry Beekman Livingston had a house, and Nancy was alone 
with this strange, unreasonable and unreasoning man she had 
married, with only his relatives living near, the situation had its 
difficulties. And it was such a far, far journey to Philadelphia. 

The Manor Livingston, a landed estate of one hundred and 
sixty-three thousand acres, was one of the largest in the Colo- 
nial Province of New York. It extended for fifteen miles along 
the North River, from a point near Tivoli to the borders of 
Connecticut and Massachusetts. In itself it was a kingdom, 
actually a feudal stronghold. Like the Dutch patroons, Liv- 



ingston's ancestors were not only rich landowners but patriarchs 
of great families comprised of their children, grandchildren, 
an army of servants and their children, tenant fanners and 

As far back as 1688, the grant of the Manor of Livingston 
had been given to the stalwart young Scotch pioneer settler, 
Robert R. Livingston, founder of the family in America. This 
grant was enlarged and confirmed some twenty-seven years 
later by Royal Charter from George I and the Manor and 
Lordship of Livingston formally erected. Livingston Manor 
thus became the mother place of innumerable estates and a 
group of little towns along the Hudson River. Practically all 
of these estates and villages were owned and occupied by mem- 
bers of this one family, their connections, tenants or servants. 
In Rhinebe'ck were the homes of many Livingstons. Through 
their alliances for over five generations with the Dutch pa- 
troons, Schuyler, Ten Broeck, Van Rensselaer, Beekman and 
others, and with the Jay family, the Livingstons' vast holdings 
had been increased, consolidated and strengthened. 

When the Revolution came and the Livingstons stood al- 
most alone on the side of the people, rather than with the 
Tory aristocracy, they presented a formidable front. Of all the 
citizens of New York, they were the most influential and ef- 
fective in preparing the people for the change from a British 
Colonial Province into the new State of New York. What the 
Lees were to the Colony of Virginia and the Adamses to Massa- 
chusetts, the Livingstons were to New York, with the added 
power of almost fabulous wealth. 

For more than a century and a half the Livingstons had 
dwelt in the security, comfort and majestic solitude of their 
North River kingdom. A certain serene simplicity, integrity, 
and dignified reserve distinguished them as a family. When 



staying in New York City or in Philadelphia, they seemed in a 
sense a people apart. That is, as a family they seldom entered 
into the petty gossip, scandal, intrigue of the small town- 
atmosphere of these Colonial cities, nor adopted the affecta- 
tions, false values and standards of the times. With place and 
power for their birthright, their cultural standards and experi- 
ences were of a different calibre. 

And yet, perhaps Nancy found, fancy was not bred in their 
family! Nancy saw that here at Rhinebeck and at Clermont 
were Livingstons everywhere: Livingstons only. In every 
house for miles and miles, up the river, down the river, across 
the river, lived the relatives of her husband. Although in Phila- 
delphia everyone was related or connected, it was nothing like 
this. For there new people came, and, with Congress and the 
foreign legations as incentive, the social season was gay. So 
many tea-parties, weddings, balls, assemblies, lectures, dinners, 
concerts! Here, nothing went on. 

Clermont, in itself an estate of thirteen thousand acres, was 
the home of Nancy's widowed mother-in-law Madam Living- 
ston. A woman of personal force and distinction, she was a 
great lady of her day, and the wife of a man of exceptional 
worth, integrity and achievement. She was to the Province of 
New York what Henrietta Maria Lloyd in an earlier genera- 
tion was to the Province of Maryland} and what Nancy's own 
grandmother, Hannah Ludwell Lee, was to the colony of Vir- 
ginia a great progenitress, mother of sons who did much to 
shape the political, legal and economic aspects of the world in 
which they lived. 

Had Nancy Shippen come to Clermont first as a guest, a visi- 
tor not as Henry's wife her sensitive perceptions would no 
doubt have caught the spirit of sincerity, the actual hidden 
beauty and sweetness at the heart of this family's life: "My 



Courtesy of Frick Art Reference Library and Brigadier General John Ross 



house is peace and Love," Madam Livingston said once to her 
in a letter written in later years. "This character is ever pro- 
verbial where [my family] are known. Never did 3 estimable 
Brothers and six Sister's Love each other better than they do." 
In reality there were four brothers. Not even in this chance ex- 

By Courtesy of Brigadier General John Ross Delafield 

pression would Madam Livingston's innate honesty permit her 
to call estimable her son Henry Beekman. the man whom 
Nancy married. 

It was from Clermont that Madam Livingston laid down 
the law to all her family, except to Henry, unfortunately the 
only son who needed it. Before her marriage, she had been 
Margaret Beekman, the one child of Henry Beekman, judge of 
Ulster County and a member of the Provincial Legislature. 
Her husband Robert R. Livingston III, like his father before 
him, was a strong believer in the independence of the Colonies. 
He was a Colonial Supreme Court judge, and a member of the 



Stamp Act Congress" which drafted the address to the King. 
He died just before the outbreak of hostilities, leaving six 
daughters and four sons, of whom Nancy's husband was next 
to the youngest. 

As the seat of the two men termed by Britain "the arch 
rebels of New York," Robert R. Livingston and his son Robert, 
later the "Chancellor," and American Ambassador to France, 
Clermont was one of the first American homes to be attacked 
by the British at the beginning of the Revolution. Earlier in 
the conflict, Madam Livingston had given shelter and care at 
Clermont to a wounded British officer, a kinsman of her son-in- 
law General Montgomery, husband of her daughter Janet. 
Therefore, when, in October, 1777, the British ship Vwltwre 
was ordered to proceed from New York up the Hudson to 
destroy the villages, houses, properties and homes of the late 
Robert R. Livingston and his son, conciliatory word was sent 
to Madam Livingston that, because of her aid to this British 
officer, Clermont would be spared. Madam Livingston scorned 
this overture. She would not permit her hospitality to a family 
connection to be construed into the price paid by her to the 
British for the saving of her home. She therefore refused the 
favor, packed her furniture and personal belongings into 
wagons, buried the silver, and departed. As she sought refuge 
in a neighboring farmhouse her stately home went up in flames. 
The giant old locust trees alone remained. Later she rebuilt the 
house, using the old stone walls which stood firm after the fire. 

Notwithstanding Madam Livingston's Spartan qualities and 
her well-poised and wisely-directed training and education of 
her large family, she appears to have been curiously unwise and 
indulgent in the bringing up of her idolized son. From his 
youth, Henry had been a problem. Subject to ungovernable 
fits of rage, he could not or would not brook restraint or cor- 



rection in any form. Arrogant, self-willed, self-indulgent, tem- 
peramental, he sowed an early and luxurious crop of wild oats. 
The freedom and license of the soldier's life, which he had 
entered in his twenty-fifth year when he joined his brother-in- 
law in the ill-fated expedition to Quebec, accentuated his 
profligacy. Ever through the camps and the long marches to 
the far Canadian frontier and to the very field of battle, his 
over-fond mother's anxieties followed, in constant letters of 
inquiry and solicitude to General Montgomery. In the last 
letter Montgomery wrote to his wife was this tempered assur- 
ance to Madam Livingston about her spoiled son: "Present my 
affectionate duty to her and make her easy respecting Harry. 
He has by no means given any offense, though some uneasiness, 
by some little imprudence." 

After the tragic events of that Canadian campaign, Henry 
received a transfer to the Continental Army. A few years later 
came his resignation; then, quite suddenly, probably even be- 
fore his mother heard, his marriage to Nancy Shippen. 

As the daughter of a patriot house and one to the manor 
born, Nancy Shippen found a formal welcome among the Liv- 
ingstons and held her new and difficult position with a dignity 
that brought their high esteem and regard. But her husband's 
sister, Mrs. Richard Montgomery, widow of the hero of Que- 
bec, always called her "Madam"! And all of the Colonel's 
other sisters and brothers and their husbands and wives met 
her in a Livingston way. That was not at all a Lee or Shippen 
way. Between herself and Madam Livingston, whom Nancy 
called in the affectionately respectful eighteenth century way 
"The Old Lady," a pleasant and tender intimacy was even- 
tually established, and Nancy stayed at Clermont for weeks at 
a time. Her husband, who was the namesake of The Old Lady's 



father, being his mother's favorite son, his wife was evidently 
approved from the day The Old Lady first saw her. 

It could not have been long after Dr. Shippen's departure 
from his daughter's new home at Rhinebeck, that Nancy came 
face to face with the realities of her husband's nature. His mind, 
like his temper, was quick to heat. His frequent and ungovern- 
able fits of rage shocked and terrified her. He spared neither 
her, his mother, nor the servants. 

Although it never occurred to Nancy to see or write Louis 
Otto, and the two had no communication by visit, sign or letter, 
her husband became malevolently suspicious of them both. 
Henry Livingston had known from the time he first thrust his 
suit upon Nancy that her heart was in Louis Otto's keeping. 
More than any other, he knew by what sinister connivance be- 
tween himself and Nancy's father the young girl's consent to 
marry him had been brought about. Nancy held fast to the 
standards of her race and time, and her father's precepts. Louis 
Otto never spoke or wrote a single word to change her view or 
influence her act. But now that she was left alone in the power 
of a husband who misconstrued her every thought and act, 
the young wife was bewildered and tormented almost out of 
her senses. If she so much as smiled in greeting upon any man 
it was an amour she was contemplating, an adultery she was 
avid to commit. Colonel Livingston believed the worst of her 
as, in fact, he did of all women. He gave her no credit for 
any sense of honor, loyalty or decency. Added to this strain 
and misery was the circumstance that Nancy became pregnant 
almost immediately following her marriage. 

There was not an inch of common ground between herself 
and her husband. Meeting with no response or sympathetic un- 
derstanding, it must have been impossible for her to even talk 
with him. He said to her when she protested against his con- 



tinual misconstruction of her feelings and actions: cc But you 
will not wonder if I should judge erroneously when you recol- 
lect that I have always been kept a Stranger to your Motives 
and Views." 

In a very few months after they settled in Rhinebeck, 
Nancy's gaiety was extinguished and her spirit put into eclipse. 
The idyl of her brief happiness with Otto's love was ended. 
That which was between them must have seemed to pass into 
the night. The clouds began to gather swift and dark. 


Mrs. Col. H. B. Livingston Sunday, July 8, 1781 


on the North River 

My D r Nancyj . . . 

How much more cool & happy you are, I am sure may be under 
your venerable Locusts. I conjure you to use all your endeavours 
to be yourself & make all around you happy. Much is now in your 
own power & conduct. Remember too my d r Girl that the happiness 
of y* best of mothers & your affectionate Father, of all your friends 
in Philadelphia & at y* Manor depend in some measure on you. 

Your uncle [R.] H. Lee desires his love to you & Comp* 9 to the 
Col to whom present my affectionate compliments. In much haste, 

D' Nancy xr _ . _ , 

Your loving Father . 

^ W. Shippen jr. 

In this letter there is hint of the ill wind brewing, and he 
puts it to his daughter to temper its currents. 

From his next letter of July 25, it is evident that Nancy is 
doing her best to live up to his expectations and to observe his 
admonitions that the great duty of woman is to contribute daily 
to the comfort of her husband. 



My dear Nancy 

Your last letters are very pleasing, & our most fervent wishes 
are that you may not only continue but increase your happiness 
from day to day. Many friends rejoice with us at the prospect of 
seeing you in the winter. We insist on y 6 Colonels accompanying 
you and staying here as long as he can consistent with his business j 
my affectionate compliments to him & tell him I insist on his 
coming if he can stay but a week. Many things make this necessary 
besides the pleasure I shall have in seeing you happy together. 
Your Mamma sends you a pound of fine Tea & sealing wax. 

Have you returned the visits you owe to your kind neighbours. 
I shall be much disappointed if you are not called one of the most 
polite, affable, good-humor'd Ladys on the Hudson, and one of 
the most notable, careful & affectionate wives. You never look half 
so well as when you smile. If you encourage your natural good tem- 
per, tis calculated to make every body happy around you & love 
you. Never forget that it should be your first care to please & make 
your husband happy. You must take much pains to make your 
servants love & fear you. 

Show the world you have all the good qualities of a Shippen & 
of a Lee without one of their bad ones. God bless you my dear 
child & direct you in the perfect way prays 

Your affectionate Father 
Love & compliments to 
all your friends. 

Addressed: M rs Henry B. Livingston 
Honor'd by The Chancellor 

At approximately the same time, Nancy's brother Tommy, 
grown vastly patronizing in his sixteenth year under the cease- 
less indulgence and over-praises of his father and mother, 
draws a naive picture of his sister's pleasures and occupations 
as the Bride of Clermont: 



My very dear Sister, 

... If I do not hear from you, if your household affairs are so 
pressing as to deny you an hour now and then to communicate your 
sentiments to your brother, I shall paint to myself the most pleas- 
ing scenes, I shall with pleasure view my dear Sister at one time 
walking or fishing with her dear husband on the banks of the 
Hudson at another conversing with him about domestic or for- 
eign affairs or playing with him at Draughts or Chess. At another 
time I shall behold you traversing the Orchard or some ^lam 
as agreeable with M rs Montgomery or some other of your valuable 
and amiable sisters whose company I flatter myself you will always 
enjoy in some degree these and similar reflections, they will 
always give me pleasure yet it would be an additional one to see 
your descriptive talent (which by the bye you ought most certainly 
to cultivate as you have a good turn for it) employed in describing 
the beauties et les agremens of your situation etc. 

We have received letters from our Uncle Richard who sends 
love and good wishes to you. 

. . . Ludwell Lee has distinguished himself ktely to the south- 
ward The Marquis writes very much in his favor. ... Be pleas'd 
to make acceptable my most respectful compliments and best wishes 
to your good mother, Col Livingston, the Ladies and Gentlemen 
of your family and accept those of your Philadelphia friends who 
join me in wishing you every kind of happiness. 

I am my dearest Sister with the most lively sentiments of regard 
& affection your loving brother & faithful friend 

Thomas Lee Shippen 

The reserve and brevity of Nancy's reply tell more perhaps 
of the stark realities she is confronting than would a folio of 

Manor Living* A[u]gust 1781 
My dear Tommy, 

I received your letter by M r B. Livingston, & thank you for your 
goodness in remembering me. ... I am happy to hear you are 
improving yourself in your studies} I have no doubt but you will 



continue, & be an honor to your connections 5 nothing gives me so 
great pleasure as recieving letters from my friends, therefore if you 
will spend every leisure hour in writing to me, you will oblige one 
who thinks it a happiness to call herself 

Your affection* Sister 

Ann, Hume, Livingston 

The first intimation her parents seem to have had of the 
actual state of affairs for their daughter, and her own dread of 
the long rough journey in her condition, appears in this agi- 
tated letter from her mother written September 25, 1781: 

My dearest Child 

Make yourself perfectly easy. Your dear Papa as well as myself 
are determined you shall visit us the last of next month, tho' I s 4 
like best if you cou'd come with the Chancellor & his Lady, . . . 
& thus & thus shall we do [.] Y r Papa will write to Col. L again 
& the old Lady & M r Duer will write to the Chancellor, & if all 
this will not prevail on the Col. to come with you or bring you half 
way, then y r Uncle Jos Shippen will come for you in our Phaeton 
[.] If the last s* be the case you will not be able to bring all you 
will want with our poor horses but you can leave the rest with M 1 * 
Radclift to come in the first waggon fisher sends I have received 
all j^ dear letters by John, who rejoiced my heart by telling me 
you were very well, thank God for it Y r B r Edward [Living- 
ston] has been in Philadelphia some days & with us great part of 
the time [.] He says he hears Col. L intends to come with you. 
Indeed it is absolutely necessary he s* & you must use y r influence, 
but let y r influence be left to the very last 

I wou'd have you pay the Old Lady every comp* "I believe you 
"when you say you have great confidence in the old L & wou'd stay 
"with her as she desires you s* if your Papa & myself wou'd consent. 
"But my dear how can you feel easy if you disoblige us so much as 
"to refuse to come when we insist upon it." Read the above para- 
grafs to her Y r dear B r begs you will excuse his writing now as he 
is obliged to be with Edward L [Livingston] but he mil send his 
letter by the stage M r * Knox has been in this town a fortnight & 



is now gone to Virginia & will spend some time with M r9 Washing- 
ton, & you can't be afraid to come thus far when M r * K in the same 
situation will go as far again. M r Knox speaks highly of you. You 
are a great favorite with her & she made me very happy by telling 
me so. She says Lady Stirling & Lady Kitty thinks of you as she 
does. O! how I love them for doing so. I will pray for a thousand 
blessings for them. I have sent [to] France for Baby Linnen but 
you must expect nothing from me unless you come here. M 1 * Price 
sends her com* 5 She stays with me a few days till she can get a 
Lodging. I s* like her company if she had not so many visitors but 
I like best to be still & quiet & I shall be very much so when she is 
Adieu my darling, pray for & love 

Your very aff* Mother 

A Shippen 

The watchman is just crying make hast[e] eleven o'clock, or I 
would certainly write. You may expect to hear from me very soon, 
but am your loving and affectionate brother at all times and in all 

T. L. Shippen 

I have received but one letter from you since I left you 

Addressed: M r * Col. H. B. Livingston 

at Rhinebeck 

on the North River. 
Hon* by M r E. Livingston. 

In Nancy's reply to this letter from her mother her pen- 
manship is tremulous and broken, as if she could scarcely hold 
the quill. Wretchedness of spirit and body are heavy upon her. 
Her husband in his brutal, jealous rage has become her gaoler, 
and Nancy helplessly pleads for papers, doubtless meaning 
legal documents of some sort. She is losing hope itself: 



Rhinebeck Oct r 4 1781 
My dear Mamma, 

I have just now received your dear affectionate letter of the 25 of 
Sep r , & thank you for it 5 the Chancellor sets off To-morrow, & will 
take care of this I am affraid it will be too kte in the season when 
you receive it, to send for me. I hope my uncle will set out before, 
but alass! my dear Mamma what will avail his coming for me 
when Col. L. has told me positively I shall not come. If my uncle 
Joe comes for me my Papa must give them Payers to bring with 
him to try what they can do for me; Col. L. says they shall have 
no weight with him O! my dear Mamma what cruelty to deprive 
me of being with the best of Parents at such a critical period. How- 
ever I submit it to the disposer of all things to do with me & for 
me what he pleases. 

If Col. L. should prevail, & I shou'd not at last come to Phi* 
can't you & Papa try & come to me? but I will try every thing in 
my power before I give it up. I am, & shall be very uneasy about it 
till I see you in Phi*. I would write you a long letter but am 
troubled with the toothach. 

Adieu my dear Mamma you know how much I am yours, as well 
from inclination as by the ties of nature. 


Col. L. says if I will give him the foyers he will let me come, 
& that if I do not I shall never come. I leave it to you & Papa to 
advise me for the best. 

Some influence or persuasion, doubtless that of Madam Liv- 
ingston, at length prevailed upon Henry Livingston to let his 
wife return to Philadelphia to have their baby in her parents' 
home. For Nancy was permitted to go back to Shippen House 
late in October of 1781. In her condition the several days' trip 
to Philadelphia must have been a severe ordeal, involving the 
crossing of the river, the long rough travel on execrable roads. 
But any danger or hardship that would help her to escape 
from Livingston she must have welcomed. 



The triumphant end of the war of the revolution was near. 
When Nancy reached Philadelphia, the news that Cornwallis 
was taken had thrilled the city. She was at home on that first 
historic Sunday of November following the surrender of the 
British at Yorktown and must have seen the stirring events in 
St. Mary's Catholic Church next door. Representatives of the 
victorious armies of the young republic and of its ally, France, 
once again assembled in Philadelphia and marched down 
Fourth Street beneath the windows of Shippen House into the 
arched doors of the church, where they united in a solemn High 
Mass of Thanksgiving and laid the conquered flags of Great 
Britain upon the altar steps. 

A few weeks later, on December 26, 1781, Nancy's child, a 
daughter, was born and named for Colonel Livingston's mother, 
Margaret Beekman Livingston. Nancy called the little one 
"Peggy," her "sweet Peggy," her "Darling Baby" and her 
"Angel Child," and from the moment of her birth wrapped 
her in ecstatic devotion. With the advent of the first grand- 
child to Shippen House, all world events passed into oblivion. 
Here at home the young mother was Nancy once again, and 
everyone worshipped her and waited on her and the baby. To 
have Nancy and her baby stay on at Shippen House doubtless 
was the desire of both her parents and herself. But her rela- 
tives and everyone she knew considered separation between 
husband and wife as a last resort j a terrible expedient which 
in the public mind made the wife responsible for all the vices 
to which the husband might become addicted thereafter. With 
strange inconsistency, they quite overlooked the drcumstance 
that the husband might already be addicted to vices far from 
cured by the marriage bed and which entirely in themselves 
wrought the necessity for separation. 


Another restraining factor too, no doubt, was the low state 
of her father's finances, the necessity of re-creating a practice 
shot to pieces by the war. Nancy remained as long as she could. 
So much was happening in Philadelphia and at Shippen House! 
Exciting news was always on the way from "dear Virginia." 
There was so much to hear and talk about. But Nancy must 
needs tear herself away and take her baby to its father's house. 
With her return to Clermont there is a break in the chronicle, 
a space of silence lasting a year and a half, in which there ap- 
pears not a single letter or fragment of a letter. What must 

have happened is but a matter for surmise. 


Once again Nancy was in the country of the Livingstons} 
that vast region of rolling majestic hills, blue-green and black, 
with deep caverns of cloud shadows and ravines, and ever the 
purple river flowing by. Under the venerable locusts of Cler- 
mont, how silently too the current of the world flowed on! 

Besides her precious baby, Nancy had another treasure the 
letters of Louis Otto. For her eyes alone, ever hidden from 
her parents and her husband, these letters were secretly carried 
by Nancy wherever she went. If they had not been in her cher- 
ishing care, they would not have survived. With the memory 
of Louis Otto's great love and tender friendship mingled all 
that was most gracious, lovely and inspiring of her girlhood 
far away, now, it must have seemed. There were the books 
they read and loved together, the poems and philosophy, their 
dances and songs and music of harp and viol and harpsichord. 
Now they had come strangely to be mixed with the colors and 
shapes of the hills and the river and the clouds and with sun- 
rise and sunset, moonlight and starshine. How completely she 
and Louis had met in heart and mind; how perfectly united 


they had been! Had any woman in all world's history ever 
a, lover half so sweet as he? 

All those delicate and hidden intricacies that nobody knew 
but they! She had still that little fragment of music he com- 
posed for her, his Menuet of Strasbwg which he had dropped 
at her door and then run like a boy leaving his first valentine! 
There were the thousand and one funny, foolish little things 
they did and said and laughed about together; his mistakes in 
English; her mistakes in French ... his use of "poison" of 
her eyes, as in "Eloisa to Abelard." ... His prayer that 
she loan him her heart . . . that she heed the pleas of the 
tiny notes she wrote him which he called her children for 
more little sisters to keep them company! ... "I will take a 
ride on my Fancy it will carry me far!" he had said and 
straightway she too had leaped the same steed and laughing, 
in his dear arms had galloped over the heavens, footing the 
very stars! 

"Fair as young light" . . . he had said she was in one of the 
poems he wrote to her . . . "Fair as young light." . . . 

Time enough now to reflect upon all that she had lost. In 
him were power and wisdom united . . . and such adoration 
of her spirit and her body that the sweetness and force of his 
passion pierced every fibre of her being. Face to face she must 
have come with the truth; that he was the most blessed in- 
fluence of her life; that marriage with him would have been a 
sacrament where with Livingston it was sacrilege. 

So to dream by day of white love and then, by night to be 
Forced to lie under black lust! What could she do? Where could 
she turn? Surely the desire came to her heart that her child 
might have been her lover's, not her husband's. 

"I ... Walkt forth to ease my payne." So she must have 
trodden Clermont's heights, 



"And the bright euening star with golden creast 
Appeare out of the East. 
Fayre childe of beauty, glorious lampe of loue." 

Walking thus alone in that solitude the memories of him 
she loved so must have throbbed in her consciousness like sad 
music, a poem too poignant, too beautiful ever to be imprisoned 
in words. 


Just when Nancy first learned of her husband's "amours," 
and of the existence of his several children by as many alli- 
ances, is not revealed in the letters or documents. That their 
own little daughter was his only legitimate child was no secret 
in the Livingston family. The Old Lady told Nancy that. His 
other children were quite generally spoken of. Not once was 
the evil done by Henry Livingston ever condoned or excused 
by his family, least of all by his mother. But as one of their 
own, he and all of his were under the aegis of their protection. 
The law of their house forbade public scandal and, if he was 
not honored or respected by them in private, at least he was in 

That out of a realm of beauty, of dignity and peace there 
should develop the discord of a being like her husband must 
have seemed to Nancy and others a strange and inexplicable 
circumstance. Perhaps, she might have reflected, their ingrown 
family life, their over-concentration upon their own, in itself 
bred sometimes abnormal results. Secure within their own 
closely knit households, devoted to their own and their chil- 
dren's pursuits, studies, works, joys and sorrows had not 
these become paramount, so that most of the Livingston women 
in reality faced only the horizons of their own lives? Certainly 



no one in her husband's family was concerned about the finan- 
cial difficulties slowly creeping upon her father's household. 
Nor was anyone disturbed, except The Old Lady, about Nancy's 
problems and suffering as Henry's wife. She was not a blood 
relation and that made a difference. Henry, however, was their 
blood relation and his affairs were not to be criticized. But to 
Nancy Shippen, his conduct must have been appalling. To his 
gross licentiousness she makes but one reference in her Journal 

Booky when she speaks of "Lord B 's squandering his 

money on miserable undeserving objects." She likewise empha- 
sizes his jealousy of her and the dark suspicions that rode his 
mind about her j his talk that so frightened her, his fits of rage 
and brutality. The custom of her day decreed that a wife who 
had an unfaithful husband must not expostulate, but feign igno- 
rance of his misconduct "and by superior agreeableness and at- 
tractions win him back." It is doubtful whether Nancy, being 
herself a woman of spirit and temper, would have stooped to 
this last cajolery, but to the first it seems she must have 
bowed until she learned through The Old Lady of Colonel 
Livingston's secret plan eventually to gather all of his children 
together under one roof either in Rhinebeck or in far-off 
Georgia and install Peggy, her own daughter, among them. 

Little Margaret Beekman Livingston, namesake of Madam 
Livingston herself, the Little Princess of Clermont and daugh- 
ter of Shippens and of Lees, cheek by jowl with his bastard 

Anne Home Livingston made her decision: to go back to her 
own home, back to the clean air and the warm hearth fires of 
Shippen House. On an early spring day in 1783 she packed her 
boxes, took her baby, and fled her husband's bed and board. 

Soon after her return to her father's home she began the 
Journal Book. 

Part Two 

Journal JJoofe anb letter* 



THE TIME Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century 
THE PLACES Shippen House and the French Legation in Phila- 
delphia, Stratford Hall in Virginia, Manor Clermont, Rhine- 
beck in New York, and the President's House, New York City. 


In the Order of Their Appearance 

AMANDA, the Heroine, the Author Herself Nancy Shippen 
(Anne Home Livingston). 

LORD WORTHY, her Father Doct r William Shippen, the Younger, 
Director General of Military Hospitals of the Continental 

LORD B., her Husband Leftenant Colonel Henry Beefcman 
Livingston of the Continental Army, Scion of the Lords of 
the Manor Livingston. 

LEANDER, the Hero, her First and Last Love Louis Guillaume 
Otto, Comte de Mosloy : successively Attache of French Lega- 
tion in Philadelphia, Charge d j Affaires of France in the 
United States; Secretary of Legation; Chief of the Political 
Division of Foreign Affairs in France; Minister to Munich; 
Minister to Vienna and Minister of State of France. 

SWEET PEGGY, her Darling Baby and Angel Child Margaret 
Beekman Livingston, aged seventeen months at beginning of 
"Journal." Only Child of Colonel Henry Beekman Living- 
ston and Nancy Shippen his wife. 

LADY WORTHY, her Mother Alice Lee of Stratford Hall in Vir- 
ginia, Mrs. Doct r Shippen of Philadelphia. 



MR. W. [ASHINGTON], her Beau Bushrod Washington, of Bush- 
field in Virginia, nephew of President Washington, Justice of 
United States Supreme Court, heir of Mount Vernon. 

YOUNG WORTHY, her Brother Thomas Lee Shippen, Chronicler- 

THE OLD LADY, her Mother-in-Law Madam Livingston (Mar- 
garet Beekman), widow of Judge Robert R. Livingston, 
III, of Manor Clermont, Grand Dame of the Province of 
New York. 

OLD WORTHY, her Grandfather Doct r William Shippen the 
Elder, eminent Physician of Colonial Philadelphia^ Member 
of the Continental Congress. 

R. H. L., her Uncle Richard Henry Lee of Stratford and Chan- 
tilly in Virginia^ Mover of Motion for Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and a Signer 5 President of the Congress* 

A. L., her Uncle Arthur Lee of Stratford and Landsdowne House 
in Virginia, and o London, Paris, Berlin, New York and 
Philadelphia: Patriot, Diplomatist: Signer with Benjamin 
Franklin of America's Treaty of Alliance with France. 

THE COMPANY President Washington and his Lady, Miss Elea- 
nor Custis, the Chevalier de la Luzerne, French Minister, 
Thomas Jefferson, General Horatio Gates, General Henry 
Knox, Chancellor Livingston, Mrs. Richard Montgomery of 
Clermont, Mrs. Theodorick Bland of Cawsons in Virginia 
(Martha Danger-field), Lady Kitty Duer, Colonel Henry Lee 
of the Legion, Mrs. Henry Lee (Matilda Lee) of Stratford 
Hall, Nancy Willing, Francisca de Miranda Lafayette, Vi- 
comte de Noailles, Marquis de Chastellux, Joseph Wright, 
the Portrait Painter Members of the Families Allen, Arm- 
strong, Barrows, Bayard, Benden, Bingham, Blackwell, Bkir, 
Blake, Bland, Bond, Boudenot, Bradford, Burd, Buston, 
Byrd, Chaumont, Clark, Coxe, Craik, Cutting, Dayton, De- 
buysson, Delaney, Duer, Duffield, DuPonceau, Edwards, 
Elesons, Elliot, Emlen, Filmore, Footman, Frazer, Gadsden, 
Hamilton, Harrison, Hazlet, Herd, Hodge, HolHngsworth, 
Horters, Ingraham, Jackson, James, Jervey, Jones, La Motte, 
Lee, Lenox, Livingston, Logan, Lyons, Magan, Magua, 



Marbois, Marshall, McGaw, McQuerters, Mercer, Mifflin, 
Moore, Morris, Morton, Moyse, North, Peales, Peirce, Penn, 
Peters, Porter, Powell, Prager, Purviance, Redman, Ross, 
Russel, Rutherford, Rutledge, Sage, Samento, Secon, Sharp, 
Shippen, Smith, Spence, Sprout, Stead, Stewart, Terresson, 
Tilghman, Tillotson, Van Bercles, Vardon, Vaugh[a]n, Ven- 
don, Voss, Walker, Webster, Wharton, White, Wikoff, Wil- 
kinson, Williamson, Willing, Wilson, Winchester, Wither- 
spoon, Woodbridge. 

& Journal 

April loth 1783 









- W 




<. ,, 

Ufft-nf > 

C* J '.T* 

~fciJ #1 *'$** mm* I 


&ts A*. J J 



April loth After Breakfast rode out with Lord Worthy. Had 
a conversation about Lord B. & dear Leander.* His sentiments 
corresponding with mine made me extremly happy wou'd to 
God it was a happiness that wou'd last but the die is cast & 
my life must be miserable! Lord Worthy sees the consequencies 
of my unhappy choice too late it is well for me he sees it at 

April nth Saw Leander spoke to him he praised my sweet 
Child good man! 

April 15 Dressed my darling baby, kissed her; & for some 

minutes was happy recieved a message from Miss B 

& Miss M returned an answer wou'd be happy to see 

them how insipid the company of formal acquaintances! 
Miss B. is handsome & well bred but unentertaining. Miss 
M. agreeable. We chatted sung walk'd in the Garden the 
afternoon more agreable than I expected. 

April i6th Work'd at my needle in the morning as usual, & 
read. In the afternoon visited M r * Bland f ound a great deal 
of company a great part of it insignificant & trifling. 

April 17 This Morn* went to St Pauls Church where I heard 
a lively discourse preachM by M r Magan. In the afternoon 
had Company. 

April 1 8 This day I spent entirely alone, enjoying my own 
meditations they were not unpleasant I feel calm & com- 
posed, & please myself with the reflection of having conf orm'd 
to the will of my parents in the most important action of my 



life O! may I reap the benefit of it! I'm sure I shall! I have 
the sweetest Child that ever was born in her I shall be most 

April jp M r Tillotson 1 visited me this Morning he has 

lately seen Lord B but did not mention himj which made 

me uneasy sure he can't have forgot me not even send me 
his good wishes I am unhappy I shall in time get used to 
his neglect But Oh ! it will always make me wretched Why 
did I believe him when he swore so often he loved me, & that 
he wou'd make me eternally happy. 

April 20 This day I writ to Louisa & read the remaining 
part of the forenoon. This afternoon was visited by the presi- 
dents Lady & Daughter Sally & Molly Shippen Miss 
Fanny Witherspoon & several gentle men both young & old- 
Upon the whole it was an agreable after noon. 

Apl. 21 Lady Worthy spent great part of the morning in my 
Chamber with me directing & advising me about bringing up 
my sweet Child I need it much for sure I am a very young 
& inexperienced Mother the afternoon we spent enfamile. 

April 22* Sollitary & Unhappy 

April 23* This was a very fine day I rode out in the Morn- 
ing with Betsy & the Child met Leander in third street he 
look'd smil'd & bow'd he is all thats good, & my best friend. 
When I return'd found a letter from Harriett which gave me 
great pleasure. She congratulates me on the birth of my dear 
Child. Ought I to repine, when blest with health, friends, in- 
dulgent parents & the sweetest Child that ever was born but 
still I am unhappy. 

1 A brother-in-law of Lord B. (Colonel Livingston). 


Apil 24th Breakfasted this Morn g with Oleander & Emelia. 2 
Happy couple! surrounded by their beauteous Offspring & 
happy in their loves, they live a life of uninterrupted bliss. 
Spent the rest of the day at home with Lady Worthy. I read 
Milton to her while she work'd. 

Apil 25 Dress'd my Angel Child, kiss'd her a hundred times, 
thought her the most beautiful Child in the world & sent her 
to be admired by Miss Tilghman, who said a thousand things 
in her favor in which I perfectly agreed. 

Apil 27 heard from Lord B. obdurate man! he still con- 
tinues to persecute me with his reproaches God knows that I 
do not deserve them. How miserable should I be if it was not 
for my dear Child. Wou'd to Heaven he cou'd but see it 
perhaps it perhaps it wou'd soften him & make him relent. 

Apil 28 Spent this day with M* 5 Bland working Tambour 
returned about 8 this Even 9 Found my baby asleep. Innocent 
lamb! it knows not what its unhappy Mother suffers, from its 
unrelenting father. 

Apil 29 Today my sweet infant was taken sick. She will now 
engross all my time & care. 

Apil 30 She has Had a fever all day, something better this 
Even g sleeps sweetly. 

May j. Better still today How thankful I am! 

May 2 d perfectly recover'd, spent great part of the day in 
return* thanks to God for her recovery 

May 3* >io o'clock at night Spent a most delightfull Even g 
at M r * Powells. I heard in the Morning there was to be a very 

2 Unidentified friends of Nancy's, not to be confused with Leander. 



large Company. I spent great part of the day in making prep- 
aration I wish'd to look well. Sett off about six oclock my 
glass told me I look'd well was dressed in pink with a gause 
peticoat an Elegant french Hat on, with five white plumes 
nodding different ways a bouquet of natural flowers & a 
white satin muff. Found a roomfull & in the midst of them 
L*eand,er he told me what I believed that I look'd like an 
Angel shall I confess that I felt pleas'd to be approved of by 
him? Why? because he is my sincere friend & was once (O! 
happy time!) my lover. I passed a most agreable even'ing 
though a large company which is seldom the case a most 
admirable supper excellent wine an elegant desert of pre- 
serv'd fruits & every body in spirits & good humor. It is now 
late & I am sleepy. Found my Child well. 

May 4. felt dull & stupid all day. M r Washington drank 
tea with me in y s Afternoon. We sung, Laugh'd & play 4 at 
Chess. Upon the whole spent the Even g very merrily. Ladv 
Worthy & young Worthy of the party. 

May 6 Spent this day at home, w* Lord & Lady Worthy. 
We were all alone my sweet Child amused us all. 

May 7 It being a very fine day I rode out & took betsy & the 
Child with me Called upon M r * R. [obert J Livingston 8 
but found only M r * Montgomery * at home, M** L. [ivingston] 
came soon after. They made me happy by praising my darling 
Child -& Caressing it very much. Spent the Afternoon at home 
with Lady Worthy my good Mother. 

May 8 This morn* paid a visit to Miss Tilghman & 
Hamilton. Found them both out walk'd afterwards to Peals 

8 Nancy's mother-in-law, the Old Lady. 

4 Nancy's sister-in-law, widow of General Montgomery. 



[Peak's] with S. & M. Shippen, M Cox, M r Mif [f ]lin, Major 
Moore, & My brother dined at M r Jones & spent the Even g 
there. Came home about 8 & found M r Washington. We went 
together to M r * Jerveys, & found her at piquet with M r Jervey. 
We join'd them & made a party at Whist. Staid till ten oclock. 

May 10. 10 at night Miserable all day in consequence of a 
letter from Lord B. He tells me O what is it that bad he 
does not tell me! but what affect [s] me most is his accusing me 
of infedelity. Wretched Unhappy man Nothing but your 
being jealous, & treating me ill in consequence of that jealousy, 
shou'd have tempted me to leave you & now you say I left 
you because I loved another. Had you not decieved me by 
so often swearing you loved me to distraction I should not have 
been the wretch I am. O I'm wretched indeed! & the father too 
of my sweet baby I'm almost distracted 

7 in the even May n. felt more composed today comforted 
by my dear Mamma she begs me not to murmur but be re- 
sign'd the will of providence. My dear friend Maria drank Tea 
with me 

May 12 10 at night At home all day this afternoon was 
honor'd with a visit from M r Marbois. 5 He staid about half an 
hour. I chatter'd a little french very imperfectly but he said I 
spoke well. The french are too polite to be sincere. 

May 13 This Morn 9 I read Madame de Maintenons advice 
to the D De B g. I will transcribe so much of it as rektes 
to the woman, because it corresponds so much with my Ideas on 
that subject. My Child calls for my assistance. Therefore I 
must defer writing what I intended till Evening. I come my 

5 See Supplementary Records (2). 



May 14 Detained all last Even* by Company & to-day I am 
engaged to go out of Town with Lady Worthy & M r? Bland, & 
M r Washington spend the day at Chaillot. We shall spend a 
very rural day. 8 in the Even g Just come home undrest 
& play'd with Peggy, & sit down now to write. It was one of 
the most agreeable jaunts I ever had in my life. The day fine, 
the Company agreable, & the best rural dinner I ever eat. We 
walked by the River deleware we sung we rambl'd about 
the woods 5 play'd at Chess in short the variety of the scene, 
& the sociability that prevailed throughout the company serv'd 
to make it a delightfull day. I am now sleepy & my darling 
baby cries for her bedfellow. 

May 15 10 in the morning I sit down to write now what I 
intended to write the day before yesterday. I hope I shall not 
be disturbed. My baby lies assleep in the Cradle before me I 
will write till she awakes 

Do not hope for perfect happiness; there is no such thing in 
this sublunary state. Your sex is the more exposed to suffer, because 
it is always in dependance: be neither angry nor asham'd of this 
dependance on a husband. . . . 

Do not hope that your union will procure you perfect peace: 
the best Marriages are those where with softness & patience they 
bear by turns with each other . . . 

Do not expect the same degree of friendship that you feel: men 
are in general less tender than women j and you will be unhappy 
if you are too delicate in your friendships. 

Beg of God to guard your heart from jealousy: do not hope to 
bring back a husband by complaints, ill humor, or reproaches. The 
only means which promise success, are patience & softness: impa- 
tience sours & alienats hearts: softness leads them back to their 
duty. In sacrificing your own will, pretend to no right over that of 
a husband: men are more attached to theirs than Women, because 
educated with less constraint 



They are naturally tyrannical 5 they will have pleasures & lib- 
erty, yet insist that Women renounce both: do not examine 
whether their rights are well founded} let it suffice to you that they 
are established j They are masters, we have only to suffer & obey 
with a good grace. 

Thus far Madame de Maintenon must be allow'd to have 
known the heart of man. I cannot agree with her that Women 
are only born to suffer & to obey that men are generally 
tyrannical I will own, but such as know how to be happy, will- 
ingly give up the harsh title of master for the more tender & 
endearing one of Friend. Equality is the soul of friendship: 
marriage, to give delight, must join two wmds y not devote a 
slave to the will of an imperious Lord, 

9, at night Spent this Even? at M r? Gadsdens5 a Carolina 
Lady. She is an Elegant woman & very Chatty & agreable. 
Found a good deal of Company. 

May 1 6 Papa told me this morn* at breakfast that I must 
send my darling Child to its Grandmama Livingsta^ that she 
had desir'd M r$ Montgomery to request it of me, as a particu- 
lar favor. I told him I cou'd not bear the Idea of it, that I had 
sooner part with my life almost than my Child. He told me it 
was for the future interest of my baby, that its fortune de- 
pended on the old Lady's pleasure in that particular beg*d me 
to think of it, & to be reconciled to it. If I know my own heart 
I never can. When will my misfortunes end! I placed my hap- 
piness in her! She is my all & I must part with her! cruel 
cruel fate 

May 77 10 oclock at night I have been so unhappy all day 
that I have not stir'd out of my room except to dinner. Mamma 
then ask'd me if I had thought of Mrs L's proposal. I told her, 
I had thought of nothing else she ask*d me my determination 



I told her I wou'd not part with my Child if I cou'd possibly 
help it. she then told me M r? M. y did not go to the Manor 
till the middle of Junej that Papa had determin'd that the 
Child shou'd go at any rate that he cou'd not be answerable 
for the Childs losing her fortune which she wou'd certainly do, 
if I kept her from her Grandmother. I cried all the time she 
was speaking & then retired to my room which I have not left 
since. I feel pleased however that I have a month to determine 
in, & be with my angel Child. I have kiss'd her a thousand 
times since. & find I love her as well as myself. I must think 
of some thing in order to keep her with me, & yet secure her 

May 1 8 Spent the day at home Papa has not mentioned 
that dreadful subject to me since. I begin to flatter myself that 
with a little persuasion I may keep her with me at least some 
time longer. My sweet Child! my whole soul is wrapp'd up 
in you! if I am obliged to part with you (O! dreadfull 
Thought! ) I will look upon myself as the most miserable of 
woman kind. Why was my heart made so susceptible, since I 
am to experience nothing but misery? 

May ip I Visit'd Miss E Livingston this morn 9 I like her 
extreamly. I had a long conversation with her. I think her very 
sensible was much affected at a little annecdote I heard this 
morn g of a young Lady who was sacrificed to the avarice & am- 
bition of her parents to a man she hated & her death was 
the natural consequence of her misery. She had a soul f orm'd 
for friendship she found it not at home, her elegance of mind 
prevented her seeking it abroad; & she died a meloncholy vic- 
tim to the Tyranny of her friends & the tenderness of her 
heart. It is a painful consideration, that the happiness or misery 


of our lives are generally determined, before we are proper 
judges of either. 

May 20. To-day wrote to Eliza told her my misfortune 
told her it was the greatest but one I had ever experienced. 
But I have not yet experienced it. I know not yet how much I 
shall suffer when the time comes. O! what a separation! how 
much I dread it! but I will if possible stay with her. Ah! It 
will be impossible Fm affraid, because it depends on the dis- 
position of her father. Alass! he will never change. 

May 21 This morn* I sent Betsy out with the Child to give 
it an airing then set down to work at the Tambour. I was 
working a work-bag for my mamma. It is very pretty work & 
I am fond of it my Brother read to me while I work'd he 
read Gill Bias. It diverted me & made me for a time forget 
my unhappiness. When the child returned I allmost devoured 
it with kisses. 

May 22 I spend so much of my time in caressing & playing 
with Peggy that I allmost forget I have any thing else to do 
I forget to read to write to work in short I neglect the 
business of the day. At night I sit down to unfold my thoughts 
on paper I love it much me thinks it is allmost as pleasing 
as telling them to a friend. My child sleeps I am sitting close 
by her I feel happy at present because I put off the future 
prospect from my thoughts I hope for the best & enjoy the 
present moment. 

May 24 Afternoon I thought seriously this Morn? about my 
sweet Childs education. I f orm'd many schemes which I believe 
it would be very difficult to put in execution. I wish in some 
particulars that it may differ from mine. In some respects I 
wish it may be as good. I have her wellfare at heart more than 



any earthly object. God grant she may be in every respect 
what I wish her. I have met with sentiments on that head 
that please me. I will insert them here that I may not forget 


ist Study well her constitution & genious 

2d. Follow nature & proceed patiently. 

3d. Suffer not Servants to terrify her with stories of Ghosts & 

4th. Give her a fine pleasing idea of Good, & an ugly frightful 

one of Evil. 

5th. Keep her to a good & natural regimen of diet. 
6th. Observe strictly the little seeds of reason in her, & cultivate 

the first appearance of it diligently. 
7th. Watch over her childish Passions & prejudices, & labour 

sweetly to cure her of them. 
8th. Never use any little dissembling arts, either to pacify her 

or to persuade her to anything. 

9th. Win her to be in love with openness, in all her acts, & words, 
xoth. Fail not to instill into her an abhorance of all "serpentine" 


i ith. If she be a brisk witty child do not appkud her too much. 
I2th. If she be a dul heavy child, do not discourage her at all. 
1 3th. Seem not to admire her wit, but rather study to rectify her 

I4th. Use her to put little questions, & give her ready & short 


1 5th. Insinuate into her the principles of politeness & true mod- 
esty, & Christian humility. 

1 6th. Inculcate upon her that most honorable duty & virtue SIN- 
i yth. Be sure to possess her with the baseness of telling a Lye on 

any account. 

1 8th. Shew her the deformity of Rage & anger. 
1 9th. Never let her converse with servants. 



2Oth. Acquaint her in the most pleasant & insinuating manner, 

with the sacred History, nor let it seem her lesson, but her 

2ist. Set before her the gospel in its simplicity & purity, & the 

great Examples of Antiquity unsophisticated. 
22d. Explain to her the nature of the baptismal san[c]tion 
23d. Prepare her in the best manner for confirmation. 
24th. Animate, & instruct her for the holy communion. 
25th. Particularly inform her in the duties of a single & married 

26th. Let her be prepared for the duties & employment of a city 

life, if her lot should be among citizens. 
27th. See she be informed in all that belongs to a country life. 
28th. Discreetly check her desires after things pleasant, & use * 

her to frequent disappointments. *Ro[u]sseau 
29th. Let her be instructed to do every thing seasonably & in 

order, & what ever she is set to do let her study to do it 

well, & peaceablyj 
3<Dth. Teach her to improve everything that nothing may be lost 

or wasted, nor let her hurry herself about any thing. 
3 ist. Let her always be employed about what is profitable or 

32d. Let nothing of what is committed to her care be spoil'd by 

her neglect. 
33d. Let her eat deliberately, chew well, & drink in moderate 


34th. Let her use exercise in the morning. 
35th. 'Use her to rise betimes in the morning, & set before her in 

the most winning manner an order for the whole day. 

When wisdom enters into her heart, & knowledge is made 
pleasant to her soul, "discretion shall preserve her, & under- 
standing shall keep her." 

May 24 8 at night. There is such a sameness in my life at 
present that the particulars of it are hardly worth the pains of 
writing, tho* it is very agreable to look back upon ones life & 



see whether our actions & thoughts alter for the better. My past 
life has been chequered with misfortunes. I will write every 
particular occurrence some future day when I have a great deal 
more time than I have at present tho 5 I cou'd never make a 
better use of my time. I cannot have a more pleasing task than 
takeing care of my precious Child It is an amusement to me 
preferable to all others. . . . 

May 27 I received an invitation this Morn* to spend the 
Even 8 with M r? Bland but I was engaged & I spent the 
Afternoon & Even* with Maria. ... I never was more happy 
I kept my lovely Child with me all the time. The dear angel 
was the life of the company Leander went past the window 
while we were at Tea he looked in & his Eyes told me he 
wou'd be happy to join us but I did not ask him prudence 
forbid it Why shou'd it? he is my friend & I am his but 
because he was once my lover I must not see him Cruell cus- 
tom I have read or heard, I forget which, "that the best 
friendship is the child of love" why am I not at liberty to 
indulge that friendship? Why? because it wou'd displease my 

May 28 I was wake'd this Morn* at five oclock with the 
cries of my baby. It seem'd to be at a distance. I jumped up 
frighten'd half to death run to mammas room where the child 
was, & found it almost in fitts with pain. I scream'd as loud as 
the Child to see her in such agonies. Papa was obliged to 
take me out of the room or I should have fainted. I never in all 
my life felt as I did then. She continued in that situation almost 
an hour, & then slept two. In that time the maid told me that 
the child woke as usual at day break that she being very sleepy 
she forgot to take care of her & left the dear creature all alone 
that she give her her snuff box to play with & then went 



to sleep. In the meantime the child open'd the box & the snuff 
flew into her Eyes, nose, & mouth & very near strangled her. 
I never will permit her to be taken up again when she wakes. 
Her dear Eyes are always open at daybreak therefore she is 
generally taken up out of my bed softly & carried down stairs 
without waking me. For the future I will take her up myself. 
After her nap she seem'd pretty well & eat hearty. About ten 
she went to sleep again & woke with a high fever. I was very 
much alarm'd & call'd Papa he thou't her ill she continued 
to grow worse he ordered balm Tea & lime juice & sugar I 
gave it her then he gave her a dose of nitre In the afternoon 
a little better I never left her all day except to eat a little 
dinner & then I staid but five minutes. This Even 8 her fever 
grew worse I was almost distracted I believe I sent for Papa 
near a hundred times He gave her a dose this Even* that has 
done her good she sleeps sweetly her fever is abated It is 
near Twelve oclock every creature in the house sleeps but me 
I have no inclination. I will watch my dear baby all night 
I feel pleasure in doing her this service I begin to be alarm'd 
she has slept without stiring for four hours I will call my 
father The watchman calls one o'clock I went to Papa & 
told him my fears he relieved them by telling me the longer 
she sleeps the better she may he thinks sleep off her disorder. 

Jtme i My baby thank God is much recovered. These six days 
past she has been so ill her life has been despairtl off. I nurs'd 
her attentively I never left her more than an hour altogether 
O! what I have suffered! for several hours I thought she was 
dying what I felt then it is impossible to describe I have 
been ill too myself with fatigue & want of sleep Mamma was 
much affected & fain wou'd have taken part of the trouble off 


my hands but I would not permit it she being in a very weak 
state of health. 

June 7 8 odock My darling Child begins to be herself again. 
She has lost that beautiful color that used to adorn her lovely 
cheeks but that makes no alteration in my love for her, she is 
dearer to me than ever my time is so much taken up with 
her at present I cant find time to write all I wish June 8. 
Today was the finest we have had a great while Mamma in- 
sisted on my taking a little ride to refresh me she said she 
would stay with the dear baby till my return I went called 
upon Emelia & took her with me we had a very pleasant ride 
I mention'd Peggys illness she advised me to try the coun- 
try Air for the reestablishment of the Childs health M r * 
M [argaret] L n's [Livingston] proposal then popped into my 
head I told her of it She at first lamented with me that 
there should be a necessity for my parting with it Ask'd me 
if I had resolv'd. I told her I had: that M r * Montgomery 
shouM not take it that it if it did go, I wou'd carry it myself. 
Emelia agreed with me that it was best for me to go with it 
said the Childs ill health the length of the journey every 
thing requir'd it & further she said may be after I got there 
Lord B. might relent & we might live happy together once 
more. She thought the sooner I set off the better. I agreed 
with her. She proposed Cleanders accompanying me How 
good! How friendly in her to part with her better half so long 
purely for my advantage. Pve thought of it ever since. How 
happy shall I be if my plan succeeds & I stay with my darling, 
sweet Child. 

June p Told Mamma yesterday my intention. At first she 
disapproved but afterward was reconciled because she saw 
my heart was set upon it. then said, she shou'd be very un- 



happy to part with us both it was very hard to part with her 
sweet grandchild but to lose us both wou'd almost kill hen 
It cant be help'd said I my dear Mamma. You as well as Papa 
have agreed that it is absolutely necessary for the Child to go 
& I am determined she shall not go without me. The dear baby 
continues pale & thin 2 or 3 days before that dreadfull acci- 
dent happened Betsy the Childs maid was taken ill with the 
measles. She was sent immediately to another house the baby 
never having had that disorder I was affraid she might take it. 
She is ill yet & I feel her loss sensibly. It was with Mammas 
maid the accident happened. 7 oclock Nothing talk'd of but the 
journey. It is a very long one two hundred miles but if it 
was as far again I wou'd go to have the satisfaction of accom- 
panying my darling Child. O I'm wrapt up in her! & if at last 
I shou'd be so happy as to have it in my power to remain with 
her to find that she makes an impression on the heart of her 
father that he will love her O it will be a happy jaunt for 
me indeed! What a sweet little mediator! can he but relent 
when he sees her his picture in miniature will he not be glad 
to see me f old me in his arms & repent that he has treated 
me ill wonder at my forgiveness & condescension & become 
a new man. happy prospect I will immediately write to him 
tell him that I am going to take our dear Child to his 
Mothers tell him I will expect to see him before I arrive ask 
him to meet us & conduct us to his Mothers 

[July] June 3 Yesterday I wrote & this Morn 8 sent the letter 
by post. I have been more composed since I have determined to 
go. My darling is so weak she cant be left by me hardly a min- 
ute how she loves me she wont rest aminute out of my arms 
except when asleep. Yesterday I hir'd a maid for her Im 
affraid she wont be like Betsy at least in Peggys eyes. She 



lov'd her almost as well as she does me. Before she was sick she 
pref er*d her Grand mamma to anybody. 

[July] June 4 Today M r Wright finish'd My Portrait. Is a 
very strong likeness. My dear girl is drawn sitting in my lap. 
Mr. W. began her before her illness Her face is not quite 
finished. I desired him to wait till she looks better before he 
proceeds as she was taken ill after she had set only twice. 

[July] June 5 The day after tomorrow is fixM for my de- 
parture Mamma is much affected & so am I but shou'd be 
much more so if I had let Peggy go without me. It is very 
hard to be obliged to go 2 hundred miles from my parents or 
part with my Child. But alass! I am affraid I shall part with her 
at last. However it will be some comfort to "see" her fix'd with 
M^ L. & to know at the same time that I have done my duty. 

[July] June 6 Every thing is pack'd up & to-morrow I go. 
M r Wright finished my dear Peggys picture yesterday. It is like 
her but not half so handsome. She is dress'd in White & has a 
peach in her dear hand sweet innocent! she looks like an 
Angel. He has dress'd Me in Leylack satin edged with gold, 
with a blue girdle My hair thrown back negligently & tied 
with pearls ringlets in my neck long sleeves with white satin 
Cuffs & cape but what adorns me most is my Angel Child 
sitting in my lap & one of my arms encircling her dear waist 
Papa calls me He called me to beg I would stay a few days 
longer. I told him the season was so far advanced that I was 
affraid it wou'd be too warm to travel But he & Mamma in- 
sisted upon it & so it is put off Untill the day after. 

[July] June 7 My sweet Child grows better every day. I hope 
travelling will agree with her. I like my new maid much & so 
does Peggy. I am to have a great deal of Company this Even g . 



I must dress. I shall see Leander perhaps for the last time n 
o'clock They are just gone. The room was full too many 
to Name Maria came in just as the company was assembled 
she thought to find me alone she look'd disapointed & went 
away soon. After Tea We walk'd in M r Vendons garden. He 
had it Lighted up it really look'd delightful. I walk'd with 
Miss Efliza] Livingston & Leander. We were obliged to stay 
but a short time. A gust came & frightend us home. I had a 
long conversation before Tea with Miss L [ivingston]. I love 
her very much. She is just what a Woman ought to be Sen- 
sible polite tender & sympathizes in the distresses of her 
friends. I believe Leander is in love with her I hope he is 
what a delightful Couple How happy wou'd be their lives. 
M** Morton an Elegant Woman from Boston was here. She 
is thought a beauty. I wish to write more but it is late & I must 
rise betimes. I shan't have it in my power to write again untill 
I arrive at the End of My Journey. 

In my Chamber at the Manor Livingston 

[July] June 7 I have so much to say I do not know where to 
begin. I will go back to the day I set off from Phil* Mama 
came early f ound me in Tears tried to console me I hid 
my face in my Mothers bosom she cried as much as me Papa 
was obliged to part us or I shou'd not have remembered that 
I had yet to put on my riding habit. O! How I felt! the Idea 
that I was going to leave such kind indulgent Parents 'perhaps 
forever made me almost inconsolable. I am called to dinner. 
About 1 2 oclock we set off Cleander & Kitty & Peggy & poor 
me. Mamma & Maria rode a little way with us & Pappa & my 
Brother on horseback. At last we parted such a parting! I 
shall never forget it I hung round the neck of my mother 
sobbing with her. Maria cried too sweet Girl & Peggy was 



almost eat up between them. My dear Girl said Mamma, return 
to us if you dont find your husband altered for the better dont 
let your love for our sweet baby tempt you to throw your self 
into Misery No my dear Mamma cried I, I will return if I 
dont find him very much Changed for the better But the 
sight of the Child must make him relent & he will treat me 
well for her sake. My dear Papa too said My dear Nancy I 
love you very much your happiness I am concerned for be 
sure you return if you dont see a greater prospect of happiness 
than you ever saw before with him. I should write a volume if 
I was to write all that passed on that occasion. I'll let it suffice 
to say that every thing that is tender & affection* was said to 
me & I was loaded with presents. I cried without ceasing all 
the way we went that day. I wrote to my dear Mamma from the 
three first stages. I afterwards had no opportunity. My dear 
Peggy Miss'd her Grand mamma & wou'd stroke me on the 
face & say poor Ma Poor Ma altho' she is but I year & 7 months 
old. I lodged with good M 1 * Smith at Princeton at Wood- 
bridge lodged at Gen 1 Herds dined next day at M r M c querters 
at Newark At night arrived at Hackensack. & stay'd at M r 
[illegible] 2 day [s] after arrived at M r * Ellson's near fish Kills 

where Col. & Stewart lodged. M 1 * S insisted on my 

staying there 2 or 3 days I did & spent them very agreeably 
playtt at Chess great part of the time The Morn* I left M rs 
S t's I arrived at Head Quarters [Newburgh] & breakfasted 
with M* 8 Washington cross'd the North River in the Gen 19 
Barge & dined with Lady Kitty Duer 6 that night reach'd 
PoughKepsie. I was then within 20 miles of Lord B & 30 of 
M rs L. I had not heard one word from Lord B. I began to be 

Lady Kitty was a daughter of Lord Stirling, married to Colonel William 
Duer in 1779. She and her sister Lady Mary Watts were among the belles 
of New York when it was called the Republican Court. 



alarm'd. After Oleander had retir'd to his room & the child 
gone to sleep & Kitty was eating her supper in the next room I 
sent for the landlady to stay with me till Kitty return'd: I ask 4 
her if she knew any of Lord B 7 s family? She said yes that she 
knew several of them said there was one in particular that 
was much spoke of. My heart told me who that was. She said he 
was a very bad [man] & had very near kilPd one of his servants 
very lately, & that he had a Wife & Child in Phi* ah! says 
I, you see his wife & Child before you. The woman look'd 
petrified, & Im sure I felt so. 

The next day I proceeded to M 1 * L s [Livingston], deter- 
inin'd to consult her before I saw Lord B . I left a letter for 
him on the way to be given him, after I pass'd. Last night I 
arrived here was received with a great deal of politeness, & 
affection. It is indeed an Amiable family. They are very fond of 
there little relation & she begins to be sociable with them. The 
Old Lady intends to write to her son Lord B & interests 
herself much in my welfare. 5 oclockj he has answered his 
mothers letter but not mine. She read me part of it he con- 
tinues Obdurate will not come & see me & his dear infant 
continues to repeat his false suspicions & to be jealous of me 
O! how miserable has he made me! I flattered myself when I 
brought him his dear Child his suspicions wou'd close I will 
write to him again & bid him adieu his Mother thinks him 
unalterable in his resolutions & that it will be impossible to 
live happily with him but what wou'd I not bear to be able to 
keep my Child with me? I will write the Copy of what I send 
here. O! may it have the desir'd effect 

Q. Manor Clermont 

I did not expect after the information I left you when I 
passed thro 5 R. B , that I shou'd have no other communica- 



tion with you than by letter. A new state of things very differ- 
ent from what I expected when I left Phi* have taken place. 
It is supposed you will excuse your conduct on the footing of 
my having passed by without stopping at your house on my way 
to Clermont. From the view of things I then had, I really tho't 
that upon the whole it wou'd be most agreeable to yourself. It 
was reasonable for me to suppose from my not seeing you or 
hearing from you at any stage of the road that your disposition 
towards me was very unfavorable; & you know it wou'd be a 
Mortification I cou'd 111 brook, if when conscious of the best 
intentions, I shou'd either be indignantly recieved or rejected 
with scorn. From some reports also, part of which I have since 
found to be true, I supposed you wou'd wish to make some 
previous changes in your house. Upon the whole I am sorry 
to find in you a disposition so very unfavorable, & so repugnant 
to every Idea of future peace & comfort together. It is in the 
affliction of my soul I often repeat to myself the question 
what am I to expect from returning into the immediate power 
& possession of a man, who can manifest at the present so un- 
gracious a temper? But I am ready to believe that what has a 
principal influence on your conduct is the resentful reflection on 
my having so long delay'd my return from Phi* There is not 
Sir, a sentiment of my heart I wou'd wish to conceal; I have 
been faulty in many instances & mistaken in more, since I have 
been your unfortunate wife, but heaven is witness to the purity 
& uprightness of my intentions in this, & to the propriety of 
my sentiments respecting my past conduct. What is past cannot 
indeed be undone, I freely own I wish it had not been done. 
But it is no small addition to my unhappiness, that you have 
put it out of my power to make these declarations with more 
agreeable prospects. However Sir, tho I return to my parents I 
return not all; All that is now dear to you, I leave with 



youj But what in this case will be your greatest happiness, will 
be to me, in the pangs of parting & continued separa- 
tion, unspeakable Anguish. Yet I will not envy you I will 
rejoice in this at 'least that there will always be one dear 
Centre where our affections will meet & that under the care 
of an affect & prudent Grandmother, this one precious 
fruit of our otherwise unhappy connection, will be trained up to 
be an honor & a comfort to you. I shall not stay longer than 
today as a bar in your way to seeing it, & when you see it you 
will then perhaps drop at least one tear on the reflection that, 
had you been generous & tender as she was well disposed y* 
mournfull Mother might yet have shar'd in the happiness of 
being near it. I shou'd have very little difficulty as to the 
punctilio of going to your house, had I not full & clear evidence 
of a governing disposition in you subversive to every agreeable 
hope, 'tis on this I ground my intentions of returning & how- 
ever awkward & unfortunate the condition of my future life 
shall be, I shall after this enjoy at least one happiness y* 
happiness of a self-approveing mind, & thro' Gods Mercy shall 
hope to die in peace. In the meantime let mutual benevolence 
& mutual forgiveness, as we hope to be forgiven, supply as far 
as may be the place of mutual complacency, this shall be the 
endeavour of your unfortunate 

Ann HL 

[August] June 8 I sent the letter yesterday Morn g & in y* 
Even g I recieved an answer but such a one! I am asham'd to 
transcribe it O! my heart! what I suffer! & must I part with 
you my angel Child? Yes I must How shall I bear it? & 
Tomorrow is the day. O no! I cant go so soon. I will make one 
more effort to stay I will ask the old Lady to write again 



[August] Jwne p She did write again, & reciev'd an answer 
just like the former. To-morrow I go! I can spare no more time 
from my angel this night is the last I shall have her in my 
arms for this year this age to me 

[August] June 21. Phil* My Chamber 

I have been in such a state of misery since I left my beloved 
Child I have not been able to continue my journal. Alass! how 
shall I paint my sufferings at & since that dreadfull moment 
that I parted with my beloved baby! I will not, I cannot at- 
tempt it I will only say that I have never known a happy mo- 
ment since O! what a sacrifice! but it was for .her therefore 
let me try to be resigned 

[August] June 22 Spent the day at Mount Peace, a delight- 
ful place but every place is equal to me now. I am wretched 
every where} I do nothing but cry & repine at my fate. 

[August] June 23% My Journal will now be very insipid in- 
deed. I spend my time mostly in my room. I read when I can, 
but it is seldom I can collect my thoughts sufficiently. I work 
at my needle, I have time enough now! Ah me! how sweetly 
did it used to be taken up with my dear Child but now I can 
only think of her, & cry for her, & be the most miserable crea- 
ture existing for her. Sweet Angel, she's happy tho' her un- 
happy Mother is miserable 

[August] June 25 Spent the day at Challiot with Mamma 
M rs B. & M r Washington was more composed than I expected 
I laugh'd a little but I have felt more since I have been 
by myself this Even* than I have felt these 2 days before} every 
object around me reminds me of what I have lost reminds me 
that once I was an happy mother & that now I am wretched. 
1 60 


Cruel cruel man! You have now wreck'd all your vengence on 
me y OU have deprived me of my only comfort. 

Yet a letter from Otto, full of affectionate counsel, coming 
just at this time, must have been a source of comfort and 

My Dear Friend 

Tho J your sudden return to Philadelphia was quite unexpected 
to me it does not strike me in the same manner in which it appears 
to affect your tender feelings. The whole of your conduct has been 
so extreemely proper that the last injury you received was only 
wanting to bring on your Side those few who had been prejudiced 
by misrepresentations. You know my tender Friendship for you 
and you must be sensible that your misfortunes have rendered you 
still dearer to a man who had so many reasons to prevent them and 
who sacrificed his own tranquillity to your apparent happiness. As 
I have constantly heard the opinion of the public I advised you to 
take a Step, rather below your dignity, but consistant with the 
duties of a Mother and of a Lady who prefers her reputation even 
to happiness. In this view the Step has not miscarried and you 
have satisfied both the Public and your heart. 

As to your future conduct it ought to be such as to convince the 
World that you are sensible of your Situation, but let me entreat 
you not to indulge the melancholy thoughts which it may suggest 
you. The only means to bear misfortunes with fortitude is to be 
innocent, and if this is true who should feel them less than my 
Friend? To avoid the World would be a proof of guilt, to appear 
quite unconcerned would be a mark of insensibility, but there is a 
decent and reserved Behaviour of which you are perfectly mistress 
and which is the only ornament of innocence and Virtue. If the 
esteem and admiration of your acquaintances can alleviate your 
grief I am happy to tell you that these Sentiments have never 
been more universal than in this moment. 

Your most devoted Friend. 

[August] June 29 I awoke this morning with the thought 
that I had my beloved child with mej sweet delusion! why 



will ye not last! Why so soon fleet away I thought I had her 
in my arms, & that I was pressing her to my bosom & for the 
moment was happy But alass when I awoke I was miser- 
able . . . 

[September] July 10 My time passes away without any thing 
material happening. I live retir'd, I am now fond of solitude. 
Every thing seems indifferent for mej except thinking of my 
dear lost Child, lost at least to me, for the most endearing part 
of her infancy; but I will not repine, I have done my duty; I 
have try'd to be reconciled to my unhappy husband j & I am 
now convinced that were I to live with him with all the discre- 
tion that ever fell to the lot of woman, my life wou'd be made 
miserable by him, for jealousy like y e jaundiced Eye wou'd dis- 
color all my actions. But why these reflections, they will do me 
alass no good I only write to ease my oppressed heart. 

[September] July I spent yesterday with my dear Maria. 
She does all in her power to console me; she tells me I ought to 
be chearful, & happy, because I am rid of my tyrant husband 
but ah me! I'm deprived of all my happiness. I am so melan- 
choly I make her a very poor companion, but she is good, & 
sympathizes with me in all my distresses. 

My dear Maria will shortly be married, & then I shall lose a 
friend for she goes to Carolina. 

October i Yesterday my dear friend & companion left me, 
almost inconsolable for her loss. It is a loss indeed for we cannot 
replace a friend. The most powerful & lasting friendships are 
usually the produce of the early season of our lives when we are 
most susceptible of the warm, & affectionate impressions. The 
heart of Maria was formed for friendship sweet, gentle 
amiable, with the most pleasing manners, & winning address 
she has beauty; & accomplishments, both personal, & mental 


she makes one of the best of wives, as well as the most delight- 
ful of friends. She was a great comfort to me in my solitude. 
I was form'd for the world & educated to live in it. I had 
already been admitted into some share of its societies so that 
the cheif comfort of my situation, is in the reflection that I have 
avoided a great evil. If my memory glances on any other cir- 
cumstance of former pleasure, my heart can scarce sustain the 
mortification. I have however to thank heaven for having taken 
me from a situation where I must have been compleatly miser- 
able, to place me in a state where I cannot be happy 

In the interval between the dates September and October i, 
the following letter, from Nancy to her mother-in-law Mrs. 
Livingston, must have been written: 

Impressed with a sense of your politeness, & goodness to me, & 
with a heart full of the tenderest anxiety for my darling Child, I 
sit down to write to you Madam, & tho' I am perfectly satisfied 
that your care of her is the best possible, yet I have all the fears 
of a Mother5 I fear she pines after me, I fear she is sick, & that 
your humanity prevents you from letting me know it, & perhaps 
this is the reason I have not heard by the two last posts 5 my dis- 
tress is greater than I can express, I can never be happy without 
her, I feel that she is "close twisted" with the fibres of my heart, 
do my dear Madam let me hear by the next post, if it be but one 
line, only to let me know how my sweet Child does, & you will 
lay me under an everlasting obligation I send with this the re- 
ciept you mentioned, with some medicine} My Papa, Mamma, & 
Brother, beg me to present their respectful compliments with mine, 
to you Madam, & all your good family 

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect 

Your dutiful Daughter 
[Nancy Livingston] 

P.S. Please to let me know my dear Madam if our dear Child is 
much loved by her father, & what effect seeing her had upon himj 
and if she can yet walk alone. 



The reply from Mrs. Robert Livingston in September shows 
that Nancy wrote often, but that her in-laws were still inclined 
to look upon her as the offender and not the offended, in her 
relation to the family. 
Madm Cleremont 10 Sep* 1783 

I have the honor of 3 of your Letters received all within the 
last fortnight, and your papas very obliging Letter with the Mede- 
dnes at the same time, for which I return him my best thanks. I 
will freely own, that when I did my self the honor to write to D* 
Shippen I was most Mortifyed that you had not made one inquiry 
(as I then conceived) conserning our Lovely baby. But I am now 
fully convinced that you possess the feelings of a Mother, and ask 
your pardon for not doing you Justice till I had your Letters- You 
ask how she is. I can only repeat what I wrote before that she is 
in perfect health, pleased with every thing, and every Body. No 
person especially Gentlemen enters the Room, but she goes to 
them and says upe, and sits on their Lap and begins a conversation 
intirely her own. But her favorite one is her baby that ingroces 
all her time and all her care, next to the Harpsichord of which she 
is Extreamly fond. Her looks are much improved, having grown 
quite fat. To be short, for I dare not trust myself when speaking 
or writing of this dear Child, I will only ad that she is the sweetest 
and best tempered Child in the world, and as happy as an Angel, 
when the weather is fine to run about the Garden with her cousin 
betsey who is very fond of her, and her maid Gitty who is intirely 
devoted to her. Peggy Lewis came here some time agoe from Al- 
bany. You would have been highly delighted had you seen the 
Goodness of heart our Baby discovered at that time. She was so 
delighted y* she knew no way to shew her affection but by taking 
betsey in one hand, and peggy Luis, as she calls her, in the other 5 
then kissing one, then the other, repeating it five or six times to 
each. In short she is the darling of every body her papa is very 
fond of her and she of him, altho she rails the Chancellor by no 
other name but papa and M r? L mama. 

Please to present my Compliments to all your family. Peggy 
stands at my knee. She has repeated the words give my Duty to 



my Dear Mama, Grand Mama and G Papa, and twice kissed the 
Letter to send you a kiss. The negro who bears this to you has or- 
ders to deliver it to y r hand. 
I have the honor to be 

Y r Most ob d S. 

M. Livingston 

November 13 Sunday I passed this day at home. I do not 
think it prudent to go out as I hear Lord B. is in Town. I be- 
lieve it f or the other Even 2 somebody disguised came to the 
door & ask'd for me; he was told I was out he ask'd where I 
slept he was told; he ask'd in which room my picture, & the 
Childs was, he was told it was upstairs. He ask'd several more 
questions concerning me & then left the house. It must have 
been Lord B. & nobody else. Today I was told he had been seen 
& ask'd if he had seen me he made answer, that he had been 
several times & cou'd find nobody at home but the servants. 
I am terefied at the Idea of seeing him. What shall I do if he 
comes & forces me away. I realy think my life will be in danger 
from his jealousy & unmanaged passions. 

Monday I am distressed past all discription at not hearing of 
my dear Child for so long a time. What can be the reason? is 
she sick or, what? unhappy creature that I am! a state of sus- 
pense is without exception the most disagreeable. 

Wednesday Drank Tea with Molly & Sally Shippen, a large 
company. Their merriment only served to make me the more 
sad oh! My Child I will write no more untill I hear from 

December 2 d 

Thursday I have heard at last from my dear Baby, she is well 
& happy & M 1 * L. [ivingston] is on her way to N. York with 
her; this piece of news has raised my spirits amazingly. 



Monday Spent the morn g as usual read & work'd & drank Tea 
in the afternoon at M r? Lenox's heard the most delightful 
news, my Peggy is safely arrived at N York Gen 1 Washington 
told papa he saw her, & kiss'd her, happy Man! I saw Leander 
this even* at M rs Shippens he has been to N. Y. & saw Peggy, 
& kiss'd her he says a thousand times, & says she looks beauti- 
ful. I am delighted beyond measure 5 I am sure I shall not 
sleep a wink tonight. 

Tuesday It happen'd as I suspected, I did not sleep more than 
two hours, awoke at day break. I dream'd I saw her, & was 
pressing her to my fond bosom, when I awoke. I lay thinking 
of her 'till 9 o'clock & then fell into a sweet slumber & slept till 
n when Mamma came & call'd me up. She said she thou't I 
was sick; Ah! said I, I was never so far from it in my life, for 
I pass'd my night in the most delightful Manner. I have 
walk'd out this morn g & am to drink Tea with M rs Moore, this 
afternoon, & go from there to the concert. I am afraid I shall be 
foolish enough to tell every body I meet how happy I am. 

Wednesday Spent a delightful Even* at the Concert, the 
music was fine, & the company agreable. I had a letter given me 
while I was there, by a gentleman lately from N. Y. my curi- 
osity was so great I open'd it immediately, & to my great joy 
found it was from my mother in law giving me an account of 
my sweet baby. I was in great spirits the remainder of the even*; 
the concert was concluded with a song to the praise of Gen 1 
Washington he retired while it was sung 

Friday 8 o'clock I have met with a great disappointment. 
This night there is a grand ball given by the Merchants in com- 
pliment to Gen 1 W n [Washington], I am invit'd & intended 
to go, but alass! the hairdresser did not come till seven 

1 66 


Saturday night at n odock I had a very large company at Tea 
this Evening. The company is but just now broke up, I dont 
know when I spent a more merry Even g . We had music, Cards, 


Sunday Evetf 9 odock I heard an excellent sermon preach'd 
this morn* by M r Blackwell, the text was "Remember to keep 
holy the sabbath day." He spoke in a very sensible manner, & 
said every thing suitable upon that subject. This Afternoon we 
were honored with the Company of Gen 1 Washington to Tea, 
M rs & Major Moore, M rs Stewart M r Powel M r B Washing- 
ton, & two or 3 more 

Monday Evening M r Willing waited on me this morning to 
let me know he was going to N Y to-morrow morning early } I 
am very unhappy that I can't get ready to go with him, but he 
gave me too short notice. I must content myself with writing by 
him to M rs Livingston & M rs Rutherford, & sending my sweet 
Child a baby 

Tuesday 17 Col. Miranda T lent me a book call'd Voltaires 
Henriade, I read part of it this Morning & admire it much} 
The style is Elegant, & the descriptions lively. Leander drank 
Tea with us this Even 8 . . . 

The following, dated only "Tuesday Even'g," shows that 
Leander received from Nancy more than a cup of tea that eve- 
ning. With his longer experience of the world, it is amusing to 
note the admiration he expresses for her "Wisdom & experi- 


I thank you a thousand times my dear friend for your advice so 
full of Wisdom & experience. I flatter myself you will see the 
good effects of it in my future conduct. With how much tender- 

7 See Supplementary Records (3). 



ness do you deal with me! how sweetly do you encourage me to be 
ingenuous with you! Indeed I'm quite ashamed of my vanity; 
Good night, I will try to-morrow to write something more 
worthy your perusal. 

Tuesday Even'g. 

I have seen the the good effect! ! ! [Otto's hand] 

Wednesday 24 Still confin'd by the pain in my face & sore 
throat felt lonesome all day how I miss my dear Maria & 
Emily the latter I expect soon to return from her Uncle's but 
ah! when shall I see Maria! have not [heard] from her these 
3 weeks they appear to me like ages 

Thursday 25 Altho' this was Christmas day & some company 
to dine here that I have a regard for I cou'd not leave my 
Chamber but spent the day alone5 My friend Washington dined 
here also. . . . 

Fry day 26 This morn* I set in Lady Ws Chamber j & read 
to her. She has been sick for some time but is getting better} 
I dined down stairs tho' much indispos'dj because it is my 
sweet Childs birth day. She is this day at 3 oclock 2 years old 
God grant she may see many happy returns of this day. Spent 
the Even* in my Chamber 

Saturday 2? Still in so much pain I am obliged to keep my 
face Muffled. I am out of all patience, I have been confin'd near 
a week & yet not bad enough to keep my bed. I am tir'd of 
being alone, Lady W. unwell also. Lord W. out most part of 
the day & only me poor Amanda left at home alone. I have 
heard of my husband, he was seen in N.Y. in disguise Poor 
man! when will he behave well, & re [s] tore to his wife a hus- 
band, his Child a father & his mother a son 



Tuesday 30 Set in my chamber all the morning at work, & 
drank Tea in the even g with the Miss Shippens. Was introduced 
to the Dutch Ambasadors two sons, & found them very agre- 
able, the eldest especially who has a great deal of humor. I 
staid till ten oclock & was very happy all the time} we sung, & 
play'd at cards. 

Wednesday 31 At home all day read some of Ganganelli's 
letters they are ful of wisdom & instruction 

Thursday January ist 1784 Spent the day at home, read- 
ing, & hearing delightful musicj the Day extreamly cold 

Friday 2d had a slaying party this Morn* went 3 miles & 
drank mulPd cyder, & eat buiscuit, & then return'd home, almost 
perish'd with the cold spent the even g at home Old Lord 
Worthy join'd us & we play'd at Whist till ten oclock & then 
went to supper which consisted of hominy & milk, & mince 
pies the Even* was realy delightful the party Old lord W. 
his son, & daughter Amanda 

Saturday 3 d Lady Worthy & myself spent this morn g together 
in ye parlor alone, we had a great deal of conversation the 
subjects various. She is a woman of strong sense, & has a Mas- 
culine understanding; a generous heart, & a great share of sen- 
sibility. Sweet Sensibility! source of a thousand heaven born 
sensations, for the wealth of the Indies I wouM not be without 

Sunday 4th Spent the day with the family as usual, without 
any thing Material happening read, meditated &c 

Monday $th Spent the Morn* at work & busying myself a 
little about domestic concerns, which I am very fond of, as it 
takes up my attention from meloncholy thoughts; & at the same 



time takes the trouble off my dear Mama's hands. M r Washing- 
ton drank Tea with us & play'd at Chess with me the remainder 
of the Evening. I will here mention M r Washington in a par- 
ticular manner as I am very much his friend. He has a hand- 
some face, with sparkling black Eyes, & good complexion a 
small person his Manners particularly agreable & engaging 
Strong sense & an improved understanding for he spends most 
part of his time in study. His conversation is interesting & 
agreable, & he never fails to please, & make his friends all those 
who have the happiness of knowing him. He very often favors 
me with his company, of which I am extreamly fond. He is an 
intimate friend of my brothers, & declares himself much inter- 
ested in favor of this family 

Tuesday 6 My hours today pass'd as usual, saw no company, 
but passed a sociable Even g with my Papa & Mamma. 

It is strange that with these daily entries during January, 
1784, there is no mention whatever of her husband, nor of his 
letters, of which two have been found dated January, 1784, 
"in Philadelphia." The dates are unmistakable, and yet the 
serene tenor of Nancy's journal at this time makes it seem in- 
credible that she received them. A few entries were omitted 
because unimportant. 

Philadelphia 5:* Jan: y 1784. 

I am still a Letter in your Debt which would carelessly have 
remained unpaid had not the Trifle enclosed accidentally happened 
to be with me, of Consequence perhaps to you, I therefore enclose 
it. Your Fav r would have been Answered immediately on its re- 
ception had you not been decided in your Resolutions which you 
know, Madam, I could have no Expectations of altering, having 
never been blessed with such Success since our Connection. In your 



Courtesy of The Brook, New York, and Frick Art Reference Library 


last you were pleased to Misconstrue some Words, rather meant as 
a Caution than an implication of guilt. I Should have given you 
this Satisfaction sooner, had I not conceived myself injured. But I 
will not lenghthen out this Scrall because I do not (for Reasons be- 
fore assigned you) chuse to Animadvert upon the exceptionable 
Parts of your Conduct or Letters: also because I wish not my own 
Justification in preference to your "future peace of Mind" which 
I am happy to hear you have secured. Your Child was well when 
I left N.T. 

I have the Honour to be Madam your most 

Humble Serv* 

Henry B. Livingston 

The second is written Jan. 24, 1784: 


. . . But the last part of your letter Conveys, something that 
appears to me very singular for tho I allow nothing can be more 
Natural than your Inclination to have your Child with you: yet as 
the same reasons probably exist which induced you to place her 
under the care and protection of my Mother it certainly is an addi- 
tion to my Distress that I have no pretence to interfere in a con- 
cern in which you did not think proper to allow me a Voice. . . . 

I have the Hon r to be with a deep sense of my Misfortune, 
Madam, Your most ob<1 & yeiy Hum b le Serv t 

[H. B. Livingston] 

Wednesday 7 Very busy all the Morning, & in the Evening 
alone reading Clarissa H. I like it very much, her character is 
fine & her letters are full of sentiment I must adopt some of 
her excellent rules. 

Thursday 8 This Morning was entirely Taken up in prepar- 
ing to go to a Ball at the French Ministers} 8 I went with M** 

8 This Ball, given on the birthday of the Dauphin of France was one of 
the historic entertainments of Philadelphia's social history. A dancing room 
sixty feet wide was built next to the French legation, its roof supported by 



Powel, 9 & passed a delightful Even* M r Washington my 
partner danced a Minuet, I believed I looked well at least 
My Partner told me so came home at one. 

Friday 9 At home all day. In the After noon had a dispute 
with my dear Mamma. We got to very high words } indeed I 
was faulty, very faulty to say any thing disrespectful to a par- 
ent but she found fault with me, & I thought unjustly, & 
therefore I resented it} & so displeased her that she commanded 
me to keep my room that Even* 

Saturday 10 This Morn* I set alone in the parlour at Work, 
reflecting on what pass'd yesterday, & determined within my- 
self to ask pardon of my Mamma altho* I was not in fault at 
first yet as I had been passionate & disrespectful! to her after- 
wards. She came down to dinner & we neither of us spoke, dur- 
ing the time, I felt sullen altho 5 1 had made such a good reso- 
lution, before} after dinner I spoke first, she answered me 
mildly} we then entertt into indifferent conversation & in the 
Even* praised me for my mild behaviour towards her that 
afternoon. We have been good friends ever since & I am to 
have a party here on Monday. I spent a happy Even 8 with my 
parents* My Papa read while I work'd. Dear good Man! he 
has the sweetest disposition in the world, affable & polite to 
every body, & to his Wife & Children he is sweetly indulgent. 

Sunday n This day so extreamly cold I cou'd not attend on 
public Worship. M r Hollingsworth visited me this morning. 
He is a youth of good natural parts, but is rather too concieted 
& vain, & looks as if he thought himself handsome where as 
he is I think him quite the contrary he has a tolerable person 

lofty pillars painted and festooned, the walls covered with banners and ap- 
propriate pictures. 

9 See Supplementary Records (4). 



& can be agreable & facetious, when he pleases he aims in 
general at being witty sometimes he fails & too often joins 
satire to make up for his deficiency. As my Mamma has desir'd 
me not to admit Company on the sabbath I have refused myself 
to some gentlemen that were polite enough to call, & spent the 
Even'g in reading to my Mamma 

Monday 12. n oclock in the Evan The most delightful 
Company has just left me, I never spent a more lively Even 9 
As it was a young party my Mamma chose to set in her Cham- 
ber, & my Papa was engaged out, so I had the company to 
myself there was twelve ladies & Gentlemen, Miss Moore, 
M r? H. Moore, Miss Footman, the Miss Shippens, M r Van 
bercles, M r Washington, M r Hollingsworth, M r P. Wikoff, 
M r Moore5 We play 4 at Cards, play* at Pawns, Danced, & 
were as merry as it was possible for a Company to be. Miss 
Moore is vastly agreeable, & very sprightly, M r * H. Moore is 
an Elegant Woman, but rather haughty in her manners. Miss 
Footman is very engaging & sociable, Miss S. Shippen is pretty 
in the face but badly Made, & appears to have a fund of good 
humor. Miss Molly Shippen is very Ugly, & very formal in 
her manners, but very good natuiM M r P. Wikoff who some 
suppose is courting Miss M. S. is very like her in his person, & 
for a man of his years (he being forty) is very lively & chatty 
The M r Van bercles are sons of the Minister plenepo, from 
holland one of them is rather handsome, & the other is very 
humorousj they are both agreable M r B. Moore is a youth 
that is generally silent but when he does speak it is to the 
purpose he is not handsome, but makes it up by his attention 
to the ladies. It is now twelve oclock, & I am not in the least 
sleepy & the room is so comfortable I cant prevail upon my- 
self to leave it, my Papa not yet return'dj I expected Leander 



this Even* but was disappointed. What can be the reason? but 
here comes Papa, I must troop to bed. 

Wednesday 13 All day yesterday was laid up with a violent 
toothach. [sic] Leander Called in the evening but I did not see 
him. drank Tea at Miss Moores, staid till ten. Leander was here 
again, while I was out, & saw Papa. He came to take leave of 
us, as he is going to Anapolis, he made an apology for not com- 
ing on Monday 

One of Uncle Arthur Lee's gossipy letters to Nancy a month 
later gives her news of the gay capital of Maryland, about the 
time that Leander was to return to Philadelphia: 

. . . Miss Pkter is pretty but not killing. Miss Rideout & Miss 
Sprigg are the belles here & have Congress at their feet. Messrs. 
Marbois & Otto are favorites as you may suppose. Mrs. Thomson 
is very gay. We have a great deal of dancing, feasting, ogling & all 
that. The Players are to exhibit next week & Annapolis will far 
outshine Philadelphia. 

. . . When you go to N. York do not forget to give Peggy 13 
kisses for me. Adieu. Kiss your Mamma for me & warm your noses 
together over the hickory fire in a friendly manner. 

Friday 15 Today I feel quite well in body wou'd I were so 
in Mind, I had a dream last night about my dear Child that 
makes me uneasy, how I long to hear from her. The weather is 
so bad that it is impossible for me to think of going to N. 

Saturday 16 M r Willing is returned from N. York & I have 
heard from my precious Child. She is well, & happy, & her 
grand mamma doats on her, I recieved a letter also from M rs 
Rutherford. M r Washington spent the afternoon with us, & 
play'd with me at Chess. 



Monday 18 A stormy day, alone till the afternoon 5 & then 
was honored with the Company of M r Jones (a gentleman 
lately from Europe) M r Du Ponceau, & M r Hollingsworth at 
Tea We conversed on a variety of subjects & play* at whist, 
upon the whole spent an agreable Even 5 M r Jones is rather 
handsome, & very agreable in his Manners, & I think is rather 
sensible, than otherwise I expected S. Shippen but the eve- 
ning was Sj>bad she cou'd not come 

Thursday 21 This Even g there was to have been a grand dis- 
play of Fire works. A frame was built at great expence for the 
purpose, the pictures of all the great men (with General Wash- 
ington at the head) was hung up, & the frame illuminated, 
with more than a thousand lamps, & a great many elegant rep- 
resentations were to have been made, when an accident hap- 
pen'd that put an end to all, for by the carelessness of the 
managers the gunpowder caught fire, & blew it up in the air. 
The Explosion was great, & what with the Turpentine, pictures, 
frame, &c &c it was the largest feonfire that was ever seen in 
Market street. One man was kill'd & a great many hurt M r 
Van bercle & M r Duke, & Susan Blair (who had spent the day 
with me) Papa, & grand Papa went with me to see the remains 
of the fire worksj we had the pleasure to see a few rockets, & a 
large mass, & then returned to Tea after making several wise 

Friday 6? Saturday 22.& 23 Felt dull and disagreeable, very 
low spirited & out of humor wherefore are there days that, 
given up to meloncholy without knowing the cause, we are a 
burden to ourselves? first, it is because we are dependant upon a 
body which is not always in perfect equilibrium secondly be- 
cause God Almighty wou'd make us sensible that this life is 



not our happiness, & that we shall allways be ill at ease till 
we leave it. 

There are fogs in the moral as well as the natural world 5 & 
the soul like the sky hath its clouds: the best way to dispel such 
glooms is to seek employment. 

Sunday 24 Not very well today therefore cou'd not attend 
divine worship j but contented myself with reading Blairs Ser- 
mons } they are delightful indeed sound doctrine dressed in 
the most elegant style. 

Thursday 28 Spent a charming even 8 at M 1 " 8 P. Danced a 
great deal had three partners M r H.[ollingsworth] M r 
W.fashington] & Major Moore. An elegant supper concluded 
the even g much to the general satisfaction. Spent this day at 

Saturday 50 Passed this day at Mount Peace very agreably. 
Came home in the Sleigh by moonlight, caught a little cold 

Sunday ist February rather better today but still feel some 
effects of my cold. At home all the morn g . Heard M r Sprout 
preach in the afternoon. Miss Sfally] Shippen came in at 8 
oclock, & set with me till ten. We discuss'd several serious sub- 
jects & was join'd by M r Lyons who came in about nine & 
agree'd with us in all we said having nothing to say of his own. 
He is however, or, appears to be, very good natur'd. He is not 
handsome but rather genteel, & has a simplicity in his manners 
not displeasing. He waited on Miss S. home. 

Monday 2. At eleven was much alarm'd by my Mammas being 
taken suddenly ill in consequence I believe of her sitting too 
near a stove. The symptoms of extream illness was so alarming 
yt I dispatch'd every body out of the house for Papa who hap- 



pen'd to sup out yt even g . He came. She continued ill all night 
but recovered towards Morn g . 

Tuesday $d Mamma continues weak & long after her illness 
which she thinks was something of the apoplexy. I am not well 
myself owing to fatigue & sitting up all last night, for I was 
affraid to leave Mamma a minute. Indeed I am so sleepy now I 
can hardly hold my pen yawning again, pen begone I have 
induldg'd myself with a doze in the chair, & feel refreshed. 
Spent the even g in Lady Worthys chamber. She is much better. 

Wednesday 4 Mamma is so much better that she came down 
into the parlor this afternoon. The Miss Shippens & Mr Hol- 
lingsworth drank Tea with us. They staid till eleven. 

Saturday 7 At Mount Peace this Morn* made up a little 
party, went in ye sleigh. M r Washington, M r Hollingsworth 
Miss S. Shippen & Myself, we return'd to dinner. Had com- 
pany in ye evening M r & M rs Hotter, M r Secon. & M r Poy- 
ter M rs H. entertain'd us all the even g by playing on her 
guittar & singing with it. She is a very accomplished woman. 

Sunday 8 I am very uneasy at not hearing from my sweet 
Child. It seems an age. When will my prospects begin to 
brighten. Heard from my dear Maria, She is well but not con- 
tented with her situation. There is no perfect happiness in this 
world. . . . 

Monday g Went a shopping with Louisa & M r Washington 
& M r Hollingsworth were our beauxs. 

Tuesday 10 Very busy all the Morn g employed in domestic 
affairs. Emelia & Louisa M r W. M r H & M r Lyons drank Tea 
with me, & then played at Cards. They staid till eleven. My 
Papa was not pleased with me, for keeping such late hours. I 



am sure I dont have company so often Papa that you need speak 
to me about it. However since you dont like it I will be more 
retired still. Poor Amanda, when will the time come, that I 
can be free & uncontrould! 

Wednesday n At home all day employed as usual. Read 
Clarissa Harlowe in the evening. It's a charming book fraught 
with instruction. 

Thursday 12 Saw nobody but the family. Heard from my 
brother. Tommy wrote from Williamsburgh: 

My dear Sister, 

I thank you for the entertainment your charming chit chat letter 
afforded me. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear of your 
balls, concerts and tea parties, I enjoy them all with you, and am 
always very happy when I hear of your being so. I should have 
liked very much to see Papa attract the admiration of the Ball- 
room by his graceful minuet, and not less to observe you with 
your handsome partners setting an example worthy of imitation. 

I thank you for your kind congratulations on my situation, and 
assure you that I am as happy as I can be when absent from you 
and my dear parents. . . . 

Friday 13 Received an affectionate note this morning from 
Emelia. She ask me to spend the afternoon with her. I believe 
I will. Had a very krge party at Emelias staid till near 
Eleven. She proposed a sleighing party for tomorrow & I 
agreed to it. 

Saturday 14 The weather was too bad to go in a sleigh, & 
we went in a Coach & four. Drank tea at Mount Peace which 
is about five miles from Phil* & returned at 8 oclock. Brought 
the company home with me & we play'd at Cards till ten. 

Monday 16 Not very well today. Heard last night that Lean- 
der who has been some time at Anapolis is return'd. I feel 



happy to think that I shall soon see so dear a friend one that 
is as much my friend in adversity, as in prosperity. At home all 
day & mostly alone. 

Tuesday 17 Not seen Leander yet. My dear Mammas ill 
health prevents me from seeing any body. Her spirits are ex- 
treamly low 5 her mind is very much affected. 

Tuesday 24 The last week I have been confin'd with my dear 
Mamma who has been very low, so as to require constant at- 
tendance. She is better today but still indisposed. Dear good 
woman she has had severe tryals. I pray God they may be of 
use to her. I think there is visible alteration in her character, 
since this illness more composed, more serene, more indifer- 
ent about worldly matters than ever I saw her. This is my 
birth day. This day I am twenty years old. When I look back 
what a moment of time it appears to be, & what account can I 
give of myself for not having made a better use of it. Let me 
try to improve then, let me try to spend the next twenty years 
(if I am permitted to live so long) in a better manner. My 
dear Papa & Mamma drank my health in a glass of wine wish- 
in [g] me many happy returns of this day. At home all day. 

Monday I st of March Had company this Even 8 that staid 
till ten. Saw Leander for the first time since his return. He 
look'd as usual only a little more meloncholy he spoke but 
little} & left us early. I wish'd to enquire after his health & 
happiness & have a little friendly chat with him but there was 
so much company it was impossible. I hope to see him soon 
again for I realy have a sincere friendship for him. I heard 
this even* that my friend M r Washington is much afflicted at 
the loss of a favorite brother, who was kilPd by a very sad acci- 



dent, a school fellow of his was playing with a loaded gun, & 
by accident shot W: thro' the body. 

Thursday 4 Mamma a little better today but still very low & 
week. Her spirits are much depress'd; she called me to her 
bedside & told me she was not long for this world, & gave me 
some particular directions about laying her out I am in hopes 
that as her body gathers strength her mind will become more 
easy. I was much affected but did not let her see it. ... 

Friday 5 O! I am so happy. I have recieved a letter con- 
cerning my darling Child from my Mother in Law. My baby 
has been ill but is recovered & bids her G. M. tell me she is a 
good girl sweet baby when shall I see you. Had company 
this even 9 Received another letter j it is from Venoni to his 
friend Amanda. 

Sunday 7 A very bad day so staid at home. Mamma din'd 
with us today. I expressed a desire after dinner to go in the 
even* to hear a new preacher who some say is an arien. Mamma 
advised me not to go. I persisted & said I determined to hear 
him that I might judge for myself. My papa said the walking 
was too bad. I then ask'd for the Chariot. He said angrily I 
shou'd not have it. I was overcome, I burst into Tears. He left 
the room. My dear Mamma tried to comfort me & when 
Papa came back, dear soul she said so much in my favor that 
he said as much all he cotfd say to make up with his spoilt 
daughter & we spent the even 8 together happily. 

Tuesday p I reciev'd an affectionate note from Emelia this 
morn g begging me to spend the Even* with her. I wished to 
go. Papa told me he wou'd stay with Mamma if I wou'd go. 
I ask'd Mama if I ought [to] leave her. She said yes she beg'd 


I wou'd, for when she was dead I must stay. I did not go but 
sent an excuse. 

Wednesday 10 A dull day out of spirits 

Thursday n I was invited to a Ball at the French Ministers, 
but I refused to go at my Papas request, but my heart was 
there} It was certainly prudent not to go} how happy am I to 
have a wise parent to judge for me. He went & made an apol- 
ogy for the rest of the family. Mamma drank Tea with M rs 
Blair I read French w h Pamela, & pass 4 a tolerable even 9 

Monday 15 This morn g I read french. In the afternoon was 
honor'd with the company of Emelia, M r Duer M r Washington 
& M r Second at Tea M r D & M r S went away early & M r W. 
Emelia & myself set till ten. We convers'd upon a variety of 
subjects & I think I never spent a more sociable Even* but I 
forgot to mention that M r Duer told me that he had seen My 
Darling baby very lately. He said she run about & chattered, 
& was the most beautiful Child he ever saw. 

Tuesday 16 This Even g I went with Emelia to M 1 * Voss's to 
visit M r? L. M 1 * Rutledge who is going to Carolina. From 
there we went to the concert & came home about ten oclock. 

Wednesday 17 This is my Dear Brothers Birthday. He is 
nineteen. May he see many happy returns of this day. At home 
all day with Lady Worthy who continues much indisposed. 

Thursday 18 Not very well today, read Swifts works* 

A * ffwt wvvry + \J J. " w v ^x w TV WJ.J. wvi i y , * wv U IT AJ. vu TT W* utv? 

Saturday 20 busy this morning clear starching, & ] 
emerald ring worth 5 guineas in the suds & was foolish 
to crv for it. 

& lost my 

^ ilish enough 

to cry for it. 



Wednesday 24 Sent an answer to Emelias note this morning 
letting her know that I wou'd wait on her to Miss Footmans 
this After noon with her. I went & pass'd an agreable evening 
in a large company. Leander was there. I came home at ten & 
he waited upon me. We conversed but little. 

Saturday 27 Louisa spent the day w* 11 me helping me to make 
up some milinary. M rs Moore sent to me to drink Tea with her 
but I sent an excuse. I was happier in the company of Louisa. 
In the afternoon M r Washington came & drank Tea with us & 
spent the Even g in a very agreable manner, us three alone 
chatting, reading & singing till ten oclock when Lord Worthy 
came in, & M r W. went home w th Louisa. Redev'd a letter this 
Even g from Venoni. [Louis Otto] 

Swnday Evening How have I spent this day? let me reflect a 
little! I have not spent it well. In the morn g I rode out (in- 
stead of going to Church) with Emelia, & M r W. [ashington] 
to the falls of Schyllkill to see the Ice that is thrown up on 
the land almost an hundred feet high. We returned to dinner. 
I put Emelia down at her house & came home. My father ask'd 
M r W. to dine with us with another gentleman. We sat at the 
dinner table about an hour & then Papa & D r C y went to D r 
Bonds funeral. When M r W. & myself were alone I proposed 
(I am almost asham'd to write it) a game at Chess I did not 
reflect at the time I am sure that it was the Lords day & ought 
to [be] kept holy, or I shou'd not thus have transgressed. We 
had not playM five minutes when M^ Clark a very worthy 
woman came in & reproved me: I blush d from a consciousness 
of my having done wrong & determ'd within myself never to 
commit the like again. Spent the even* alone. 

Monday 29 Walk'd out this morn* with Emelia & Miss Foot- 
man spent three or four hours in shopping. In the after noon 



went with M r Washington to Louisa's & drank Tea & then we 
all walk'd, it being a very fine evening, to hear some excellent 
music but it was so full & the door so crowded we were oblig*d 
to return. Aunt & Uncle Blair, & Susan dined with us. 

Wednesday 31 Work'd at my needle all this morn g very busy 
preparing to go to N. Y. In the afternoon went with Emelia to 
pay a visit to M* 9 Robinson. 

Saturday 3 d At home reading Gibbons on the decline & fall 
of the roman Empire. 

Sunday jth At home all day had a very large company in the 
afternoon. Expected my friend M r Washington but he did not 

Monday 5 Alone all day in the Even* M r Washington M r 
Lyonfs] & Miss Delany drank Tea with me, M r W. said he 
had quite forgot to he was engaged to tea the evening before. 
Spent a happy even g . 

Tuesday 6 As usual at home. M r Washington & M r Willing 
din'd here, the former told me he was going to Virginia in two 
or three dayfs] & M r Willing goes with me to N York next 

Wednesday 7 Washington called on me again this Morning 
to ask me to be of a party to Mount Peace, the day was rather 
cold & so Papa refused to let me go. I was fool enough to cry 
& refuse to eat my dinner, but Papa made up with me in the 
afternoon & said I shou'd go tomorrow. 

Thursday 8 Spent a most charming day. W. dined with us & 
immediately after dinner Miss Grace Cox M r W. & myself 
went in our close carriage to Mount Peace returned at eight 



oclock paid M r? P. a visit then went to Miss Shippens. They 
were out, from there I came home. W. went home with Grace 
Cox & promised to come back & take leave of me & the rest of 
the family (as they were then out) at nine oclock. As soon as 
they were gone I went to see Louisa, staid with her an hour & 
then return'd. In about 2 minutes after the bell rung & in came 
my valuable friend but ah what did [he] come for? to take 
Leave. We sat alone about ten minutes & said very little, what 
we did say was upon friendship. My father then came in, & 
presently after he got up to go. O! how I felt to think of los- 
ing such a friend & yet not to lose him neither but to be sep- 
arated from him, never to see him, never to spend with him 
any more happy chearful days in conversing, hearing him read 
while I work'd, singing w* 11 him, & playing on the harpsichord 
for him. I did all I cou'd to hide my concern but I saw that he 
was sorry to go, sorry to leave his friends & yet happy in the 
thought that he was going to the fond arms of his expecting 
parents. He came to me first & took me by the hand, gave it a 
gentle pressure, & bade me farewell. I cou'd not then speak but 
after he had left the room I called after him & wished him 
happiness. Ah! why was I formed with a heart so repleat with 
sensibility! The parting with a relation or friend almost kills 
me. I spent a very meloncholy even g after his departure, & tho* 
I went to bed very late I slept very little. 

Good Friday g Rose early this morning in order to write a 
line to my Cousin Ludwell by M r Washington, but he was 
gone when I sent the letter. As soon as I saw the letter brought 
back I cried like a Child. What for, not because of the disap- 
pointment because that was trifling, but because I then thought 
of his situation, going so far from us, & that perhaps we should 
never see him again. Spent the morning in puting my papers 



to rights, & reading some letters from my friends. At one 
oclock Emelia sent me a note telling me that if I was disen- 
gaged she wou'd spend the even 8 with me, I was disengaged & 
about 7 oclock she came & brought G. Cox with her, & we three 
alone spent a most sociable even'g together. After Tea Miss 
Cox & myself play 4 by turns on the harpsichord while Emelia 
work'd. Then Emelia read to us the Sorrows of Werter while 
we work'd. It is a very affecting little history, & made Grace 
& myself sob & cry like Children, but there is certainly a luxury 
in some kind of sorrows, as well as bitterness in others. We 
separated at about eleven oclock, but I forgot to write that we 
convers'd at intervals about our dear absent friend, & I dare 
say it was reflecting on his absence that affected us much as 
the novel. They both think of the amiable youth as I do. 

Saturday 10 Busily employed all day packing up for my jaunt 
to N. Y. I expect to go on Monday. How happy I feel in the 
thought of clasping my beloved child once more in my fond 
arms, & pressing her to my bosom but alass! I shall be obliged 
to part with her again in a few days after I have seen her as 
I can't leave my mamma longer & my father won't permit me 
to take her from her good Grandmother. Indeed prudence for- 
bids it also, as upon her must my dear Child depend. O! may 
I be enabled to bear all my trials with patience & fortitude. 

Sunday n Papa informed me last night that M r Willing cant 
go tomorrow. Again disappointed! said I when shall I go to 
see my Child? If he can said my dear father he will go on 
Thursday. This morning about one oclock I recieved a note 
from M r Willing informing me that he cou'd not possibly go 
before Monday week. I bore it as well as I cou'd, & as I knew 
then of no other opportunity resolved to wait with patience. 
Went to meeting in the afternoon & brought Cleander & his 



Emelia home with me to Tea & one of their lovely Children. 
After Tea we all went to Even g Meeting except Oleander who 
staid to converse with Lady Worthy. 

Monday 12 Writ this morn* to M rs Livingston to inform her 
that I was disappointed & to let her know that I should set of 
on Monday. About half an hour after I had sent & thou't it 
was gone Papa came in with it in his hand & told me it shou'd 
not go. I started he put on a stern countenance & told me to 
get drest immediately, that Col. Duer wou'd wait on me in 
half an hour & take me to N. Y. tomorrow. I was so delighted 
that I jum* about the room for joy. Col. Duer came & we set- 
tled the plan for setting out on Wednesday, & he had politely 
invited me to stay at his house while I am in N. Y. I shall be 
very busy till the day comes. Cleander & Emelia dined with us 
& partook of my happiness. . . . 

Tuesday 14 Tomorrow & Tomorrow & one day more, & then 
I shall see my Lovely Child. The Thought alone makes me hap- 
pier than I can express. My heart has been as light as a fly all 
day. & I have thought of nothing else hardly all day. Lady 
Worthy rid out to Mount Peace, & Lord W. [orthy] went 
to see his farm, so I have been all alone. At my return I shall 
begin the second book of my journals. 


Continued from 
April 15, [1784-1791] 





(April, 1784) 

Wednesday 15 My dear friend Louisa staid with me last 
night 5 at nine o'clock this morning I took leave of her & my 
dear Parents, & set off in the Stage x with M r Duer for New 
York, dined at Bristol, & arrived at Princeton at 7 this Eve- 
ningj eat a very hearty supper of oysters & retired to my room. 

Thursday 16 Arose at 6 this morn'g & went as far as Bruns- 
wick to breakfast, & arrived at Elizabeth Town to Dinner 5 we 
cou'd proceed no farther this afternoon the weather being very 
bad. A stage arrived here about 8 this Even'g with Company in 
it that I was acquainted with, So we proceeded together as far 
as Newark & arrived about 10 oClock. 

F. 17. Set off after breakfast with the same company & after 
crossing 3 ferrys arrived at Powles Hook where we dined, & 
after dinner tho* the wind was very high crossed over to New 
York. It was about 4 in the afternoon when we reach'd the 
City. I parted with my fellow travellers at the landing & pro- 
ceeded with M r Duer to his house in Broad Way. There I 
tarrytt for a few minutes, & adjusted my dress, & then walked 
to the Old Ladies, in queen street accompanied by Miss Susan 

1 The earliest "stage waggons" from Philadelphia to New York were 
"Jersey" wagons without springs and protected from the weather only by 
leather curtains at the sides and rear. There were four benches, three in the 
interior seating nine passengers and a tenth accommodated beside the driver. 
There were usually no bacb to the benches and no space for luggage, saye 
under one's feet. By 1784 very little more of comfort had been added. 



Livingston & her B r Brockhurst L[ivingston] children of the 
Governors. When first I enter'd the room I cou'd scarce see 
any body in it my Eyes so eagerly searched every part of it for 
the dear object of my affections, but she was not there so I 
paid my respects to the family as well as I cou'd, & seated my- 
self} M r * L[ivingston] arose immediately after & said she 
wou'd go & fetch the Child. My heart leap'd for joy} & I was 
in such an agitation that I cou'd hardly answer the questions of 
the family concern'g my health & that of my Parents, with 
any tolerable propriety. At length in came M r * L. with the 
dear Baby in her arms, but so much alter'd I should not have 
known her, had I seen her any where else} so much grown, so 
much more beautifulj I got up instantly that the door openM, 
& ran to meet her & clasp'd her in my arms, but she had quite 
forgot me & told me to "get long." 

I beg'd her to come [to] me & calPd her my darling Child 
& tryM to take her, by force. All wou'd not do, she wou'd not 
take y e least notice of me, nor let me take her from her grand- 
mother} it was more than I cou'd bear, I was distress'd & 
mortified, & burst into a flood of tears. M 1 " 9 L. & the rest of 
the family did all in their power to prevail on her to come to 
me, but in vain} I walk'd to the window to hide my tears, & 
thought of some trinkets I had in my pocket which I had 
brought for her. I set down and display'd them upon my lap, 
& called her to me, the sight of them made her come instantly. 
I took the dear creature upon my lap, & she sat with me con- 
tentedly for near an hour} I spent the remainder of the Even' 5 
there. Some part of it she was quite sociable with me & in high 
spirits. About ten I took my leave of the family & went home 
with Lady Kitty Duer: I took the Child with me & her maid 
Kitty who she is very fond of. 



Courtesy of Mrs. S. Naudain Duer 


Saturday 18 She has been contented all this day, & some 
part of it appeared more recondled to me than I cou'd have 
expected. Several Ladies of this City & 2 of my sisters in 
law waited upon me this morn'g; & one of them M r? Tillot- 
son has politely offer'd me her house for my home while I 
stay here. I believe I will accept her invitation as it will look 
better for me to lodge with one of the family. M r? L. made 
me a very good apology for not asking me to lodge with her. 
O! the racking thought that I must part with all my soul holds 
most dear. Eliza L.fivingston] call'd on me the day before 
yesterday, Early in the morn'g before I was up, as she heard 
I was to set off that day, but as it was a mistake we walk'd out 
together to pay some visits. Now I am really going & she dont 
know it} she is the best female friend I have here. She is pos- 
sess'd of very shining quallities and has a mind well turned & 
much improved, has a great deal of tenderness in her disposi- 
tion, & sympathizes with the distresses of every one. She re- 
ceiv'd a packet the other day while I was with her from 
my friend Leander. I did not before know they corresponded 
tho' I knew of their friendship. She shew'd me the letter in 
confidence, as illeberal custom prevents a correspondence be- 
tween the sexes. It was writ in the most friendly manner. His 
style is elegant. At my return to P. Eliza L is to correspond 
with me. 

Elizabeth Town 

Friday i. of May. I parted this morn'g with my darling 
Child, and tho' it was dreadful beyond all description, yet it 
was not near so painful as it was the time before. It was indeed 
nothing in comparison. I went in company with Gen 1 Knox, & 
Col. & M^ Hull Cross'd the Bay from N. Y. to Eliz. T. in 
the Gen 1 * barge, dine'd there, & expected to have met a stage 



here to take us on; but were disappointed^ so I went to Gover- 
nor Livingstons with the Gen 1 in a chair, about a mile out of 
the Town, spent as agreable an afternoon as I well cou'd have 
expected having just left my dear Child. Spent the Evening 
at Gen 1 Daytons, & then returned to the Inn with the rest of 
my fellow travelers; set out in the morn'g by Day break, break- 
fasted at Brunswick din'd at Trenton & arrived in Phi* at 9 
odock at night. I was so exceedingly fatigued that I beg'd the 
stage driver to go to our house, which he did. When the Coach 
stop'd I was surpriz'd to see the house shut up & no lights 
in the Hall as was usual; at first I thought my Mother was 
much worse, but the Children of the neighbourhood soon in- 
f orm'd us that my Father liv'd there no longer, & y* the house 
was let to the Spanish Ambassador. For a moment I felt petri- 
fied with astonishment & mortified to the last degree, to think 
y* he wou'd move without my being there. I was handed out 
of the stage by one of the Gen' & met my dear Papa on the 
Pavement near our house. I embrace'd him with all my heart, 
then bid Adieu to my fellow travellers, & proceeded with my 
Papa to the house he had taken which is next door to our own. 
I was welcomed by my dear Papa to our new habitation & he 
asktt me how I liked it? I told him I was pleased with it as his 
choice, but I thought it was rather small he told me we were 
not to keep it long, it was a temporary habitation, that he was 
to live there alone & I was to live with my sick Mamma in 
the Country I spent the remainder of the Even'g with him 
in talk'g of my dear Child, and pleas'd him much by the little 
Anecdotes I related of her & y 6 agreable reception I met with. 
When I retired to my small apartment I indulged my grief, 
& gave way to the sorrow I felt at the great change that ap- 
peartt to have taken place in our affairs. I slept very little all 
night tho very much fatigued with my journey. 



Swnday 2. 1 was so unwell this morning y* I kept my chamber 
& breakfasted in bed. After breakfast my Papa came into my 
room & enquired after my health, & beg'd I wou'd dine with 
him. Altho* very unable at his request I din'd below, & an- 
swer'd as well as was in my power the many questions he ask'd 
me relating to my journey. He appeared delighted with what 
I told him of my darling and frequently interrupted me by 
saying he wished to see her. After dinner my Papa went to 
Church, & I spent a solitary afternoon on the bed, reflecting 
on my unhapinessj Alas!, I have enough to reflect on. I am 
parted from a beloved Child, & have a Mother in a very dis- 
tressed situation. May I by my assiduity & attention be of serv- 
ice to her! My Papa came in to supper, & prevailed on me to 
join him at the table, I did so & as I had kept my room all day, 
was in a loose deshabille. My cousin S[usan] BflairJ came 
to spend the Even'g with me, & we were all at the Table when 
Gen 1 Knox came in. I wou'd have run away but he and Papa 
prevented me, the former paying me the compliment to say I 
look'd so well he wished I wou'd allways dress in that manner. 

The gallant old soldier was very fond of Nancy and writes 
her in lively vein: 

My dear Mrs L 

Are you engaged with all the world this evening to the grand 
card party if not and you feel disposed to sit snug by a com- 
fortable fireside and enjoy the chat of friendship pray bring your 
work to the old rendevouz in my Cabbin. If on the contrary you 
are sacrificing to the fashionable world by standing perishing with 
cold before your mirror adorning your charming person I wish 
you success in all your endeavours, That your head may be dressed 
in an unusual stile of Elegance that every curl may encircle the 
heart of a swain, that your hat may be placed with as much grace 
as the one that shades the beautious brow of the lovely Allen 
that your handkerchief may be BufPd to the exact point of Beauty 



That your waist may be dress'd with uncommon neatness that 
its size shape and appearance may exactly resemble Miss Peggy 
Aliens, and that though so unusually small all the world may ax> 
knowledge it contains the Heart of Mrs Livingston fraught with 
all the virtues which have ever been conspicuous to your friend 


Monday 3 Slept tolerably last night. Got up early j & after 
breakfast put to rights several things that had been deranged in 
the moving. After that set out in the carriage with my Cousin 
to Mount Peace, to see my dear Mamma who stays there till 
our Country house is made ready to receive her. I found her 
very low in health & spirits. Dined there & then went to see our 
new country habitation. It is about half a mile from Mount 
Peace pleasantly situated on a hill with a green Meadow before 
it. The House is pretty large, at the back of it a garden and a 
nursery of trees an orchard on one side, & a field of barley on 
the other an excellent springhouse & a good well of water. 
With all these conveniencys sure I ought to be contented 
alltho' I shall not live in as grand a style as I have been used 
to nor see so much company. I pass'd an hour here giving 
orders & arranging some affairs, & then returned to M. P. & 
spent the afternoon 5 even'g. 

Thursday 6 Papa & myself sett off this Morn'g from Town to 
take possession of our Country house, or rather to fix Mamma 
& myself there. We spent about 2 hours at the place, walking 
& talking & then walk'd over to M. Peace leaving orders for 
the carriage to come for us after dinner. We din'd at M. P. then 
Mamma & myself rode to Challiot, walked in the garden there, 
presently Papa join'd us & we made a happy Trio for a little 
time Mammas spirits being better, & spent an agreeable after- 
noon. We then returned to Quid vis (the name of our new 


place) } had a sociable supper, heard Papa read a little in Her- 
vey, & then went to bed 

Friday 7. Papa left us early this morning his business requiring 
his attendance, & we spent but a dull day. Sometimes I work'd, 
sometimes I read to Mamma, or talk'd to her, but nothing I 
cou'd do wou'd raise her spirits. I think there must be some 
what upon her mind that distresses her. She retired earlier than 
usual to her chamber. I offered to attend her but she refused, 
& shut herself in, & spent the Even'g in earnest prayer. 

Saturday 8 This day I passed well, for I was very busy, gave 
every one their proper work & settled several family affairs. 
Mamma still the same. 

Sunday 9 Mamma had a very bad night I was with her the 
greatest part of it. Towards morning being much fatigued I 
laid down at the foot of her bed, & fell fast asleep. She waked 
me in the morn'g by calling me, between sleeps & awake I 
ask'd her what she wanted she begfd me to hear her last re- 
quest for she was not long for this world. I started up at that, 
& ask'd her what was the matter, & if she was worse. She told 
me she *was, & that as it [was] probable she shou'd not live to 
see Papa, beg'd I wou'd let him know that it was her particular 
request that neither he nor any of his family wou'd go in 
mourning for her & beg'd that he wou'd write to her friends 
in Virginia requesting the same} I beg'd her to be composed 
& told her that she was not so bad as she apprehended, that 
Papa wou'd be to see her today, & do for her what was neces- 
sary. She still persisted that she was dying} I got up & ordered 
some nourishment for her, & wou'd have sent to M. P. for my 
grand-papa but saw plainly that her health was no worse, only 
her spirits much affected, & her immagination disorder'd. 



About 12 oClock Papa came with my Aunt B. & found 
Mamma still in bed & me very much dejected upon her account. 
Indeed I went so far as to complain to him of my situations 
being very disagreable, & that it was hard for me to be alone 
with Mamma when she was in such a distressed way & cried 
heartily for my nerves are weak. I said too much for I made 
him angry tho 5 I saw he was sorry for me, he ask'd me who 
was so proper to take care of Mamma as her own Child? & if I 
shou'd not bear with patience any trouble I shou'd meet with? 
I still cried & then went into another room, where I staid 
alone a few minutes to compose myself & then went down to 
my aunt. She comforted me as well as she cou'd, & said I was 
too young & inexperienced, (Alass! not in trouble) to have the 
care & trouble of Mamma alone, & that my Papa wou'd look 
for some careful good old Woman to stay with her, & take 
some of the trouble off my hands. Papa prevailed on Mamma 
to get up, & dine below with Grand Papa, Aunt B, two of my 
little cousins, Papa & myself. She continued better the remain- 
der of the day. After Tea my Aunt & G. P. went home, & Papa 
spent the Even'g with us. He read & I sung hymns. 

Monday 10 After breakfast we all went to Mount Peace, & 
then Papa & myself went to Town & left Mamma there. . . . 
I went to Louisa's, staid with her an hour, & ask'd her to stay 
with me tonight in Town, as I should be alone. She promised 
she wou'd. From their I went a shopping, & then homej after 
dinner I prepared myself to go & see some fire works, that 
were to be displayed in Market street. 

Ten o clock at night I have been to see the Showj it was 
very brilliant, & vast crouds of people filled the streets. I went 
with Papa & was in a house where I had a good view of the 
whole* Afterwards I walked up to it with Papa & examined 


it minutelyj I wish I had a descriptive talent to do it justice. 
It looked like a large elegant house painted & illuminated} 
on the top of it were placed at proper distances four statues, 
representing the four cardinal virtues, the pictures of Gen 1 
Washington the King of france &c. &c. were properly disposed, 
with four elegant pieces of painting emblematic of our liberty 
& independance the 3 hundred lamps with which it was illu- 
minated were still burning w* I left it. Eleven oclock & no 
Louisa. Papa came home with me but is gone out to sup, so here 
I am all alone 

Tuesday n. Louisa came last night after I was in bed & apolo- 
gized for not coming sooner, we lay & chatted till near morning. 
She arose early & went home before breakfast I did not rise so 
early, for about ten oclock Papa & Gen 1 Knox came in & found 
me at breakfast . . . came home with Mamma who I think is 
rather worse. 

Wednesday 12. Pass'd this day solitary & alone for Mamma 
keeps herself shut up all day. 

Thursday rj. As usual. 

Friday 14. Rode out with Mamma to Chaillot & for the first 
time since she has been ill made her smile. We walk'd in the 
Garden, & brought home a great many flowers. 

Saturday 15 Mamma & myself rode to Town this afternoon 
for the purpose of going to Church tomorrow. In the Evening 
Gen 1 Knox came in, & after he had set some time proposed my 
walking to see M r? Hull who is so ill. I went with him & on 
our way met Papa, so we all went together & found her [the] 
poor woman, very ill. Papa prescribed for her, I wished it was 



in my power to help her because she is a stranger* Afterwards 
we went to Louisas, who was out & then went home with Papa. 

Sunday 16 Papa took Gen 1 Knox to Mount Peace to Break- 
fast this Morn'g & Mamma & myself went to Church. M r 
Sproat preach'd an excellent sermon & Mamma seem'd more 
composed after hearing it. After dinner Papa & I went together, 
Mamma being not well enough to join us, to hear a sermon. 
Spent the Even* in reading. 

Monday 27. Went out very early this morning, & called upon 
Louisa, to take her with me in the country, but she cou'd not 
goj she said till Thursday upon the account of her being en- 
gaged, so about ten odock, Mamma & myself set out for our 
seat in the Country where we spent a very dull day together. 

Tuesday 18 This day was still duller for it rain'd all day, & 
Mamma worse. 

Wednesday rp. The same 

Thursday 20. Louisa came here this Morning to my great de- 
light 5 received 2 letters from my friends in Virginia one from 
M r Washington 3 & the other from my cousin M[atilda] Lee. 
Spent a charming day. Mamma went to Town this afternoon, & 
intends staying there this week, as the synod meets. 

Fry day 21 Tho* this was a very rainy day we pass'd our time 
delightfully. I read while Louisa worked. In the afternoon I 
answered the letters I reciev'd yesterday from Virginia. 

Sunday 23 This afternoon Grandpapa came to see me & not 
finding me in the parlour came up stairs, where Louisa & my- 
self were seting on the bed in deshabille. I was reading & she 

3 See Supplementary Records (5), 


hearingj he kiss'd us, & calPd us lazy girls we got up imme- 
diately, dress'd ourselves & went down & drank a sociable dish 
of Tea with G Papaj in the Even'g Papa & Mamma came & 
join'd us. 

Tuesday 25 Today was a very fine day indeed, & after break- 
fast we drest ourselves alike, & went to visit one or two of our 
poor neighbours. The first we went to see was an old man & 
his wife, very old indeed. They live in a very small house, & 
keep a good garden for a living. Their whole family consists of, 
besides themselves, a dog, a cow, & a few fowlsj they gave us 
a very welcome reception, spread a clean white cloth upon a 
little clean table, & put on it some milk, some bread, dutch 
cheese, & redishes, the old woman put on a dean cap & apron, 
& the old man his new hat, & then placed himself to wait upon 
us. After we had finished our repast (& we ate very heartily) 
they shewed us their garden, their spring, & pick'd us a bunch 
of flowers, & thank'd us for visiting them. They appeared as 
happy & contented as if they inhabited a palace. We told them 
we were sisters, & they said they thought they saw a likeness j 
they ask'd us to come & drink Tea under their large Chesnut 
Tree, & said we should be very welcome. The next house we 
went to, my dear friend Maria once lived in for 2 summers. 
The large house is now empty & a poor family live in the 

We walk'd all thro' the house & every place reminded 
me of the happy hours I had once spent there with my dear 
Maria for I staid with her part of a summer} we then walk'd 
in the garden & went to the summer house & the fish pond. The 
sight of them brought Tears into our eyesj the remembrance of 
a thousand little sports & Teapartys we had together, & the 
tete-a-tetes & even'g walks all rush'd in upon my mindj the 



good people at our return gave us a nosegay, & we had a pleas- 
ant walk back, talking all the way of our dear dear friend. We 
spent the afternoon in ranging about the feilds, sometimes 
Mamma wou'd join us but not often, Grand Papa drank Tea 
with us, & after Tea we had a fine Syllabub, in the Even* 
Louisa for a little sport mounted G Papa's horse, & rode towards 
Mount Peace. G. P. & I followed on foot, she rode about half 
a mile & then gave up the horse to its owner, we bid him good 
night & returned homej 

Wednesday 26 This Morn g the Chariot came for Louisa. I did 
all I cou'd to keep her but she must obey her mamma's orders, & 
away she went & left her friend Amanda, quite disconsolate at 
losing her companion. Felt very dull & dismal the remainder of 
the day, till towards even 8 my spirits returned & I enjoy'd the 
sweetness of the country air. Mamma still the same very low & 
dejected in mind. 

Friday 28 After an early breakfast we all went to Mount 
Peace staid about an hour, & then Papa & myself went to 
Town & Mamma & Uncle staid at Mount Peace. 

S&twday 29 Zeleida 8 walked out with me yesterday morn- 
ing. In the Even* yesterday Louisa & Miss Stockton, came to 
see me. Leander also came, & after Tea they proposed a walk. 
We all agreed to it. Papa accompanied us, & we walk'd & 
talked till ten. I had not seen Leander for so long a time that I 
had a great deal to say to himj he told me, that he sett off for 
Europe in a fortnight & then I lose in a manner a friend, not I 
hope lose his friendship, but his company for ever. . . . 

This Afternoon I dressM myself & went with Zeleida & her 
sister & six more ladies & as many Gentlemen to visit M r * 

8 An unidentified friend of Nancy's. 


Moore who lives a mile from Town. We walk'd there, spent an 
agreable afternoon, were well entertained, walk'd in the most 
delightful gardens after Tea till Ten oclock & then returned 
home. I went to Louisas where I have made my home since I 
have been in Town. 

Tuesday i of June This day we were to have spent at our 
Country retirement Miss Stockton, Louisa, Major North, 
Major Jackson & myself. Mamma was to have staid in Town 
& I expected to have had one happy day When Lo! (as 
usual) I was disappointed for Louisas Mamma was so ill this 
Morn'g that she cou'd not leave her & so I broke up the party. 
I set off for the country by myself as Mamma setts off from 
P. tomorrow morn'g for Princeton. This was by far the hottest 
day I felt this year so that I enjoy'd the cool country air tho' 
I was alone. 

Saturday 5 This morning Papa came to breakfast with me & 
brought with him a M r Winthrop from Boston. I had had a 
very bad night & had taken tobacco to ease me, which acted 
upon me like an opiate so that I was asleep when Papa came 
into my chamber & awoke me. I told him how bad I was & 
try'd to excuse my coming down before a stranger when I was 
in so much pain, but he pressed me so much that at last I 
yeilded, got up & dress'd me & went down assuming as chearful 
an air as was in my power. We then breakfasted together, & I 
was charm'd with M r Winthrop j he is a particular friend of 
my brothers. After breakfast we all went together to M. Peace 
where I took leave of Papa & M r W. who sett off for Phi* I 
spent the remaining part of the day there, very much troubled 
at times with my face, tho being in so large a family served 
to divert my attention. I came home very early in the even'g 
& very much indispos'd. 

2O I 


Sunday 6 I kept my bed all this day my face was so badj in 
the afternoon two french Gentlemen came to see me, but were 
not admitted, nor wou'd they have been had I been ever so 
well, had my Papa & Mamma been absent as they were now. 

Wednesday g Not so well today as yesterday. Papa came out 
this afternoon & told me that my Mamma was return'd & en- 
livenM me so much that I grew well presently. 

Simday 13 Felt very meloncholy all this morning, & kept my 
room, in the afternoon went with Mamma & Papa to hear M r 
Duffield. After meeting I put Mamma down at our house & 
went to see Louisa. . . . 

Spent the Evening at home with Mamma & a good old Lady 
nam'd M* Clarck. 

Tuesday x$ This Morning after breakfast we drest ourselves, 
& ordered the carriage to pay M r? Stewart a visit at Clifton. We 
found her & the rest of the family at home, & were treated with 
great politeness. We walk'd in their garden which is very beau- 
tiful, & found, when we returned, a table covert! with wine & 
fruit. They pressed us much to stay to dinner but as we were 
engaged to drink Tea with M 1 * Peters in the afternoon we 
excused ourselves. We had an early dinner at home & set out 
immediately after to go to Bellville. But we were disappointed 
in our intended excursion for when we reach'd the ferry we 
found that the rope was broke & that the boat of consequence 
coutt not go. So being nearer Town than Quid vis, we went 
there. I drank Tea and spent the Evening with Louisa and 
staid all night with her. In the morning about ten oclock I 
set off with Mamma for Quid vis. 



Wednesday 16 This day I pass'd chiefly in reading to 
* Mamma, & conversing with her. Expected Leander to Tea but 
he did not come. 

Sunday 20 This day I think I spent chiefly as it ought to be 
spent with my dear mother: Grand Papa & my Uncle drank 
Tea with us. 

Tuesday 22 I intended visiting Papa today as his business 
keeps him closely engaged in the City, but was prevented. I 
get used to disappointments. Spent the day at home employed 
as usual. 

Thursday 24 Rode to Germantown today with Mamma who 
has been in very low spirits all day. I hear Leander sails next 
week & I shall not have it in my power to bid him farewell. 

Friday 25 Reciev'd a letter from Leander, as a last testimony 
of his friendship. It was very affecting. He is gone! I am glad I 
did not take leave of him, it wou'd have affected me too much. 

Undoubtedly a number of farewell notes passed between 
Nancy and Otto just before his departure for France. This 
fragment appears to be a part of the last one: 

"Elmira has exceeded all my wishes; if it is possible to be happy 
in departing from the most amiable, the most generous Friend, I 
am rendered so by your note. The Idea that I shall hear from 
you or at least communicate my ideas and all my wishes to Elmira 
is not sufficient, but condusrve, to my tranquillity. Elmira has 
seen me in various situations, every one of my Steps must deserve 
her approbation, and in leaving a Country in which I have been 
the happiest and the most miserable of men, I have at least the 
consolation to recollect that I have constantly acted according 



to the strictest rules of propriety. Permit me to think, Elmira, 
that this conduct gives me an unquestionable right upon your 
Friendship and that I ought to occupy a principal pkce in your 
esteem and perhaps in your affection. Without these I should be 
miserable, whatever may be in other respects the agreable prospects 
that are bef [ore] me. Elmira will render me infinitely happy by 
informing me as often as possible of her situation, the means are 
easy and have been explained. 

Adieu my amiable, my unfortunate Friend j May you remem- 
ber that affection knows of no distance. May your past misfortunes 
be only preparation for the most delicious enjoyments which must 
be soon or late the reward of virtue. ^ . ,-. 

Saturday 26 Mamma spent this day at Chailiot & I spent the 
day at home very busy making sweet-meets for the winter. 

Sunday 27 I spent this day entirely alone, except having the 
company of Books. I read, & meditated upon what I read. I 
transcribed some passages out of Blairs excellent sermons, & 
upon the whole spent the day much to my mind. Mamma re- 
turnM from Town this Even'g & my dear Brother whom I have 
not seen for this long long while accompanied her. I spent a 
delightful even'g with him. 

Thursday July ist I went to Town this morning with my 
Brother & had the happiness to see my dear Papa who[m] I 
had been absent from so long, & to bid my Uncle Shippen fare- 
well before he went homej he has been upon a visit to Papa 
for this last three weeks. . . . 

Friday 2* Louisa & myself spent the morning in rambling 
about the meadows & shady groves, & eating fruit which we 
have in abundance. After dinner we went to Belmont to see 
the beautiful M rs Peters. We spent a very agreable afternoon 
at that delightful place. We sett off for Town about 7 oclock, 


& had a charming ride by moonlight untill we reached the 
suburbs of the city, where we were stop'd by a couple of high- 
waymen j as there was no gentlemen with us, not even the foot- 
man behind the carriage, we determined not to resist but give 
all the money we had about us. The Coachman attempted to de- 
fend us with his whip, but we calPd to him, & ordered him to 
be quick. Louisa gave all the change she had about her, & it 
. satisfied the Robbers, after which we drove very rapidly into the 

Monday 5 Set off about nine oclock this morning for our re- 
treat accompanied by Zeleida & Evelina in the charriot, & my 
Brother & Doct r James on Horse Back. We spent a charming 
day. Mamma at Mount Peace. We laugh'd, sung, play'd, 
walk'd talk'd & in short were as merry as possible j they left 
me in the Evening to enjoy my own reflections. Dear me! I'm 
quite tir'd of the country. 

Monday 12 I feel happy to see my dear Mother so much bet- 
ter. This morn'g she appeared quite composed & this afternoon 
rode to Town. I amused myself with book till just now, I am 
going to rest, & expect a more comfortable night than I have 
had this long time. 

Tuesday 13 Mamma return'd from Town about 2 oclock & 
brought me a letter from Papa, who tells me that he has heard 
from the Manor, by a gentleman who is just come from there, 
& who brought me a message from my dear Child. She said 
"tell my dear Mamma that I am very well & love her 
dearly ["]. Sweet soul! what wou'd I not give to see her to 
embrace her. . . . 

Friday 16 Still more alarm'd last night, so much so that I set 
up great part of it. The dog howPd dreadfully. We thought 



every door creak'd. We searched all the house but found no- 
body. Mamma much worse all this day. Uncle A Lee paid us a 
visit this Even'g, he enlivened us a good deal. 

Saturday 17 The country grows more & more disagreable to 
me every day, but my fate has fix'd me here & I must try to 
submit to it with a good grace. I spend all my time either alone 
or with my distressed Mother. Alass cou'd I console, or relieve 
her misery it wou'd be some consolation to me, but it [is] out 
[of] the power of mortals to do either so I hope & pray God 
almighty will take pity on her. My Brother paid us a visit this 
Evening, & gave us a pleasing account of a balloon that has been 
exhibited 32 feet diameter which wou'd have answerM the ex- 
pectations of those who contrived it had it not taken fire/ 

Sunday 18 This morning Mamma and my Brother went to 
Town. I enjoy'd myself in reading, & meditating without being 
disturbed & 2 or 3 hours pass'd away charmingly} a delightful 
silence prevailed all around me, till at length I was roused by a 
number of country people who pass by & who were going- into 
a neighbouring wood to gather hudde berries. The simplicity, 
& mirth w* seem'd to reign among them, but above all I im- 
magine a love of society tempted me from my solitary employ- 
ments to join them. They were delighted and I no less happy, 
in perceiving the emotions I excited in these innocent people. 
We soon arrived in the wood, & having tir J d myself with pick- 
ing and eating wild fruit I amused myself with the little chil- 
dren that were with us. I took one, a pretty little girl of about 
4 years old with me to see one of my neighbours who lives in 
the wood, a plain country family, but they were all gone to 

4 A contemporary reference to this balloon ascension is contained in the 
Diary of Jacob Htttefomer, of Philadelphia, 1765-1798. 



meeting, the House locked, & a faithful dog appeared, who by 
his loud barking told us he kept good centry. 

When I returned I found the good people had left the place, 
& were on y* way home. I f ollow'd with my little companion, 
who seem'd very fond of me & never once ask'd for her 
mammy. Just as I had left the woods, I perdev'd in the lane at 
some distance a Gentleman dress'd in black making hasty strides 
towards me. I couM not immagine who it cou'd be in that dress. 
I know none of my acquaintance that I cou'd suppose wou'd 
find me out in my retirement. At last he came near enough 
for me to discover that it was my old friend & acquaintance D r 
Cutting. I was very glad to see him. We talk'd over old times 
on our way to the house, and ask'd so many questions on either 
side that it was with difficulty they were all answered. I ordered 
some cool punch & invited him to eat some fruit & milk which 
he refus'd being engaged to dine with M rs Craik B so I dined 
alone, & then took my book & went to stroll in the orchard. In 
the Evening my Uncle A Lee came to see me, & supp'd with 
me tete-a-tete. 

Thursday 29 This retirement begins to be very tiresome. My 
poor Mammas state of health is not the greatest of my troubles. 
Alass my heart is ill at ease with regard to my lovely Child 
who I have not heard from this long long time, what can be 
the reason? Is she ill? Is she, alass I know not what to think. 
Sure nobody has so many troubles as I have. 

Friday 30 Mamma seemtt so much better today it revived in 
a manner my drooping spirits. She held a long conversation 
with me today equally instructing & entertaining. 

5 The wife of Dr. Craik, Washington's personal phjsician. 



Monday 2* Today I experienced a very great change from the 
still life in the country to the noisy bustle of the Town, The 
day too was remarkably warm, & I so fatigu'd with moving, I 
wish'd again for the retirement that yesterday I was wearied of. 
Tomorrow I shall have my wish. 

Tuesday 3* I arrived here about n o'clock & found my 
Mamma as well as I left her. 

Wednesday /* As usual, preventing reflection, by being em- 

Thursday 5 Very busy making my brother up a piece of linen. 

Saturday 7 I work'd very industriously all this morn'g, & 
after dinner rode on horseback to pay a visit to M r? Lenox an 
agreable neighbour I have where I found a large party. 

Wednesday u. Nothing can be a more distressing sight than 
to see a beloved Parent dying before ones Eyesj alass I fear my 
poor Mother will not last long. She takes little nourishment & 
pines to death: when will my afflictions end. O may they prove 
of service to me & teach me not to set my heart on things below. 

Thursday 12 My dear Mother more distressed today than 
usual wou'd I cou'd comfort her. 

Friday 13 Good M r Sproat visited my poor Mamma this after 
noon, & she I thou't derived some comfort from his conversa- 
tion & prayers. My cousin S. B, paid me a short visit in the 

Saturday* 14 Mamma seemM so much better today & so con- 
versible that it made me quite happy. 



Sunday 15 Pass'd this day entirely alone except an hour or 
two my poor distressed mother permitted me to set with her. 

Some time after the middle of August allowing for the 
long passage from Europe in that day Nancy heard from 
Louis Otto: 

L'Orient, July 24* 1784. 

I was very sorry, my dear Friend, before my departure from 
Philadelphia to have it not in my power to see you. However there 
is something so distressing in taking leave of a person we esteem 
that it was perhaps better for me not to be gratified in my wishes. 

Tho' our navigation has been pretty short and fortunate it has 
tired me almost to death. There is no situation in Life, no Com- 
pany whatsoever that could render the Sea agreable to me. Par- 
ticular circumstances of which you are well informed rendered it 
still more disgusting and the first happy moment I enjoy since my 
departure from Chester is our Landing at POrient. The remem- 
brance of all my former connections seems to revive at once and 
I think myself already blessed by the embraces of some of my old 
bossom Friends and by the tender meeting with my Mother and 
Sisters whom I have not seen since six years. 

Whatever may be the prospect of my future employments I 
shall always cherish the Memory of some of my particular Friends 
in America and to hear from them will be for me a great source 
of hapiness. You will remember, my amiable Friend, that you 
promised to write as often as possible and you know how interest- 
ing it must be for me to be acquainted with the particulars of your 
Situation and of your Family. D r Shippen I believe is not the 
most copious Correspondent in the World and I have reason to 
put more confidence in your attention than in the little time he 
could spare me from so many avocations. 

I shall not repeat the contents of my last note, I flatter myself 
you will not easily forget them. 

If M r * Shippen will accept of the tender wishes of a man she 
has once honoured with her esteem I hope you will remember 
me to her. I have received so many civilities in your Family that 



I shall for ever remember them. In a few days we set off to Paris 
from whence I shall write to you more drcumstancially. 

Adieu, my amiable Friendj may you find in the Consciousness 
of your own worth those Blessings of which Fate has vainly at- 
tempted to deprive you. If in your philosophical retreat you re- 
member your absent Friend think that you can not more effectually 
return his tender regard than by writing him very often. 


Monday 16 Being tired with setting so constantly at my work, 
In the forenoon I order'd my horse & took a pleasant little ride 
to Challiot & Mount Peace, & so home again. I felt great benefit 
from my ride. 

Wednesday 18 Spent a most delightful day in Town. Papa 
had a very large company & he was pleased to say I graced 
the head of his Table. Pass'd a charming Even* with Papa & 
Brother, set up till eleven oclock. 

Thursday jp I arose at 5. oclock this morn'g & set off to my 
dear Mamma in the country, found her as usual & spent as usual 
a solitary day. 

Friday 20 This afternoon my grand Papa came to see us. Dear 
good old man, a happy serenity dwells allways in his counte- 
nance. His conversation is replete with good humor, & good 

Thursday 26 Dined in Town with a very large company. 
The dinner was made for my good friend M r Duer; who is just 
come from N. Y. who I asked a hundred questions about my 
darling child. 

Friday 27 I came from Town about 10 oclock & found my 
poor mamma as usual. 



Saturday 28 This afternoon M r * Mif [f]lin & her sister drank 
Tea with me & M r Harrison M r? Lee M r Walker & my Brother. 
M r * Blair & M r * Hodge drank Tea in Mammas chamber with 
her. I spent a very lively afternoon. 

Sunday 29 This day I spent as I do the Lord's day in general} 
& I read the divine Herveys meditations in the morn 9 I enjoy'd 
the calm serenity of this morning in a particular manner. My 
Uncle Lee came to see me this Ev* 

Monday 30 I arose at about 5 oclock this Morning, & went 
to Town on Horseback accompanied by my Uncle. 

Tuesday 31 I set out this Morn* at six oclock for the country 
on horseback, alone, excepting a servant behind. I found my 
dear Mamma much indisposed. I was so indeed myself, but a 
little nap entirely recovered me. In the afternoon I rode with 
a young lady that lives in the neighbourhood, thro' a most de- 
lightful wood, & call'd upon a country neighbour & spent part 
of the afternoon there. We then went round & stop'd at my 
Grandpapa's & drank Tea; poor dear old man, he is ill; I 
found my father there. The family seems a little alarm'd for 
him. We had a pleasant ride home on horseback my Papa ac- 
companied us. 

Wednesday i of September My Uncle Arthur Lee came to 
spend the day with me, & we spent it very merrily & happily. 
In the Evening we went accompanied by my fair neighbour to 
take a pleasant walk in the fields. We had not walked far when 
we perceived a small house at the foot of hill with a little green 
lawn before the door & a very little garden on the right hand 
full of vegetables & a few flowers. The neatness of the place 
tempted us to walk in, where we found a venerable old man & 



his wife, & dog which made the whole of this poor family. The 
old man was too old to work, & so the wife, who is not much 
younger, gathers wild herbs & carries them on her head to the 
market which is five milefs] from where she lives in order to 
get a living. I asked her what she lived on. She said a little 
bread when she cou'd get it, or any thing else. In a very hos- 
pitable manner she offer'd us some of a very brown loaf she 
had just made, we accepted it because it wou'd give her pleas- 
ure. My Uncle laid a piece of silver on their clean wooden table, 
which the old woman did not perceive till we were just going 
away when she honestly offer'd it to us, thinking it was left by 
mistake. It was return'd to her with assurances of our good 
opinion of hen It was late before we got home, & we talked 
much of our little adventure. 

Tuesday 7 Received a letter from Papa desiring me to come 
& live in Town with him, as Mamma is so fond of solitude & I 
am not. I think to comply with his desires, leave her in the 
Country with some clever elderly person. Busy all day moving 
& packing up. 

Wednesday 8 Finished packing & moving this morning & 
went to Town in the afternoon. 

Thursday 9 Return'd this morn'g to the country, to bring 
some necessaries to Town. Found my poor dear Mamma walk- 
ing in a solitary manner in the fresh mow'd meadow. I dined 
in the country & return'd to Town in the Evening. 

Monday 13 This day employ'd as usual in domestic affairs, 
preserving peaches &c. M r Duponceau & M r? Jones drank Tea 
with me. 



Tuesday 14 This afternoon Miss Shippens visited me & in the 
Even'g I visited M r * Montgomery who is just arrived from 

Thursday 16 Very busy all day. How happy it is for me I 
can be so, as it serves to take off my attention from those things 
that so distress me by the reflection. Col. Armstrong & M r 
Prager, & Zeleida drank Tea with me, & we pass'd a very 
agreable Even* 

Sunday 19 Had company to Dinner w* prevented my attend- 
ing public worship. Oh how wrong! to be prevented by any 
thing, much less having company. 

Monday 20 Passed the day at home attending to domestic 
duties. I was engaged out but excused myself, General Gates 
called on me after breakfast & brought me a letter from one of 
my sister in laws M r? Tillotson. She mentions my darling child 
in a manner that gave me great delight. She is expected here 

Tuesday 21 I accompanied M 1 * Stead this Morning to Bar- 
trams Garden, 5 miles from Town, we had a charming party 
& Gentlemen attendants on M 1 * S. & myself. 

Wednesday 22 Zeleida called on me this Morning. About 12 
odock I went with M 1 " 9 Stead & a large party of Gentlemen to 
see some new paintings exquisitely finished. In the afternoon 
Miss Shippen, M r Edwards, M r Purviance & M r Wikoff spent 
the afternoon with me. 



Sunday 26 So much indisposed today, I cou'd not go to 
church. Ah! how seldom do I go when I am well, but I in- 
tended going today, had I been well enough. 

Wednesday 29 I had a very bad night, my face was so bad I 
groanM with pain. It is easier thank God today. This morning I 
received a letter from my Uncle A. Lee who has lately seen my 
dear Peggy. He speaks in her praise as does every body that has 
seen her} she has indeed in my opinion an angels mind. O! 
how I long to see her. Cruel separation! how hard my fate! 

Arthur Lee's letter is dated Albany Sep r 22* 1784: 

Dear Nancy 

I caJPd at Clermont as I promised. I was delighted with the 
old Lady, with M rs Montgomery Miss Clida or EHza Miss Kitty, 
& not the least with your dear little Peggy. I always tho't Eliza 
pretty & think so still but Kitty is Peggy's friend & favorite. The 
family appear to love one another & to be very harmonious which 
always gives me great pleasure, as the contrary appearance is a 
constant cause of uneasiness to me. The Chancellor & M rs Liv- 
ingston supp'd with us & were very friendly with me. I do assure 
you that I think the old Lady a most respectable & agreeable Lady, 
& regret exceedingly that your fortune has removed you so far 
from her. She talked of Peggy's going to Philadelphia in the win- 
ter, but seem'd to think it would be a terrible journey for her, & 
upon the whole I think it will not be prudent to urge it. 

I beat M rft Montgomery at Chess. But it was by laying a trap 
for her. I made way for her pawn to go to Queen. Allurtt by the 
brilliancy of the attcheivement, she neglected her poor King, who 
the very move before she was to make a Queen, was taken pris- 
oner without resource. Tell Tommy that this is the way to win all 
or any of your Sex. That to captivate them he must apply, not to 
their reason or their interest, but to their fancy. He must keep 
before them constantly an object attractive of that, & he may be- 
guile them of any thing This my sweet Nancy, you must allow, 
will win every daughter of our Mother Eve. 



I have sent Peggy a compleat tea-apparatus for her Baby. Her 
Doll may now invite her Cousins Doll to tea, & parade her tea- 
table in form. This must be no small gratification to her. It would 
be fortunate if happiness were always attainable with equal ease. 

My love to my Sister Papa & Tommy. 

Adieu my dear Nancy take care of yourself & of the Family. 


Friday the I s * of October I went this morning with my dear 
Papa to Quid vis to see my dear afflicted Mother. We found 
her low, & her spirits very much dejected. She won't hear of 
coming to Town but prefers the Country because she can be 
entirely alone. M r Mercer a delegate of Congress play'd chess 
& drank Tea with me & was so obliging to offer me a Ticket 
for the Concert this Evening but I was so much undress'd I 
cou'd not go, so he went after Tea without me. 

Saturday 2 Gen 1 Gates called on me this morn'g. I play* with 
him at Chess, he beat me 2 games to my great mortification. 
Spent the Even'g at M r? Steads. M* Stead & Zeleida called on 
me this Morningj I play'd Cards at Steads this Even'g till ten 

Monday /* While I [was] setting very busy trimming a new 
hat today I received an affec* note from M r * Stead requesting 
me & the rest of the family to spend the Even'g there at Tea 
& Cards. Papa desired I wou'd go so I sent word that Fd wait 
upon her; but indeed I think it wrong for me to touch a card 
for I no sooner set down to them but I feel so great a pro- 
pensity for gaming that I intend to make a resolution not to 
play at all. Grand Papa dined with us, Miss M. Shippen paid 
me a short visit in the afternoon returned from Cards at Eleven. 
Play'd with Gen. Gates & lost 3 dollars. 



Tuesday 5 Rode out with Emelia today to Mount Peace, 
found the family just recovering from the fall fever which they 
have had severely; gave my Aunt & Uncle B. a ride, then left 
Emelia at Mount Peace while I went to see my Mother. Found 
her very low & much dejected j the day was fine & I shou'd have 
had a very pleasant ride back if it had not been that my poor 
Mothers situation left a very impression on my mind & made 
me low spirited. How very unhappy is my situation at present 
separated perhaps for life from an only & beloved Child, & 
living with a Mother whose situation is by far more distressing 
than any one can conceive. I live retired & confined, but not so 
much so as I shou'd have thought my unhappy circumstances 
required. How much should I have suffered in my present sit- 
uation if those prejudices which are customary to people of my 
birth had holden their empire over mej if, for example, I had 
annexed much value to luxury & showy dress, I should now 
cast a doleful look on my plain suit j whereas their happy form 
join'd to neatness, abundantly suffice my vanity. 

Wednesday 6 Walk'd a great deal this morn'g doing some 
business in the shopping way; writ to Maria by M r8 Stead; in 
the afternoon was dress'd by the hairdresser to pay a brides visit 
to M^ Bradford. Found a room full of company; but took my 
leave early not being pleased with the reception I met with 
from the Bride; perhaps she is one of those who think my Con- 
duct with regard to my poor unhappy husband wrong or per- 
haps it was accident I was however mortified especially as 
some of the company was asfc'd to stay & dance, & as I was one 
of those who was not ask'd. I went to M r * Vaughns where I 
drank Tea again & was treated with the greatest attention & 
politenessj the family have lately been to the Manor where 


they saw my sweet little girl. They told me they left her well 
& happy. 

By some mistake a week was left out of this journal. [Note 
in Nancy's handwriting.] 

Friday, the fifteenth Ordered the Carriage early this morning 
& went to Quid vis to bring home my dear Mamma. I went 
alone & as I rid along thro' the most delightful country, I cou'd 
not help admiring how faithfully nature fulfills the eternal 
laws which are prescribed it to be useful & to subserve the wel- 
fare of the creatures at all times, & in all seasons. The winter 
approaches, the flowers disappear & even with the rays of the 
great lamp of day the earth hath lost its splendid appearance} 
but these despoiled plains still awoke in a sensible mind an emo- 
tion of pleasure. Here it is doth it say, that the copious harvest 
was collected and it raises to heaven an Eye of Gratitude. 
Dropped are the leaves of all the fruit trees, faded is the 
herbage of the fields. Here I stopped, then bringing my Ideas 
home to my own bosom I said to myself, the smiling aspect 
which my destiny offered is now equally obscured, & my ex- 
terior splendor is fallen like the foliage that crown'd this youth- 
ful shrub. Perhaps the lot of man hath also its seasons} if it be 
so, I will during the mournful days of my winter, nourish and 
support my soul with the fruits that education and experience 
have amassed for me. * . . 

Saturday 16 This morning while I was taking my mornings 
walk my poor Mamma ordered the carriage to take a ride. I 
came home just as she was setting off, & offer'd to accompany 
her} as she was too weak to ride by herself, but she refused & 
said I wou'd oppose what she was going to do, therefore begged 



her maid might be call'd to go with herj she not being in the 
way I call'd mine, & ordered her to dress herself & wait upon 
my Mother. She did so & to my great surprize found after she 
was in the Carriage that she gave orders to be drove out of 
Town. I spent the remainder of the day in the greatest anxiety 
for her, indeed all the family were anxious upon her account. 
In the even'g the coachman return'd & said his Mistress was in 
the country & said she chose to be there alone j what a dreadful 
situation to be in! given up to the extreamest meloncholyj who 
knows alas! how soon that the happiness they now enjoy, may 
be torn from them. O may I be enabled to glean from my pres- 
ent unhappy Situation patience & resignation to the divine will. 

Monday 18 I went to see my dear Mamma in the carriage this 
morn'g, before I had got a mile I met my sister Tillotson & 
her family coming to Town. It gave me great joy to meet them 
so opportunely & I begged they wou'd make our house their 
home while they stay'd but they excused themselves saying 
they had a great many servants & much baggage & only in- 
tended staying a day in Town. They were on their way to Bal- 
timore. I turn'd back as soon as they left me & hurried home 
to dress & then went to visit them. They have a sweet little 
baby who I almost devoured it is so like its sweet little Cousin 
my darling Peggy. I spent an hour with them in agreable Chit- 
Chat, invited them to dinner tomorrow, but they set out early 
in the morn'g. I then came home sent a servant off to Mamma 
with some necessarys for her & my respects & apologies for not 
waiting upon her. In the afternoon M r Tillotson his Lady, Miss 
Livingston & Dr Armstrong favor'd me with their company 
to Tea & we spent a very agreable evening. M r? T. delighted 
me with many anecdotes concerning my darling Child, & says 
she is the idol of all who know her. 



Tuesday 19 I went to see my relations this morning} found 
them busy preparing for their journey. I embrace the dear 
Margaretta, my lovely little neice, & bid them adieu wishing 
them every happiness. I came home & filled a handsome basket 
with oranges & Cakes & sent to them for their journeyj they are 
charming people & the family altogether, (except my unfor- 
tunate husband) delightful. How unhappy it is for me I am 
prevented by my unfortunate situation from being with them* 
They are all sensible, amiable, & pleasing to the greatest de- 
gree. I went to the Concert in the Evening with my papa & M r 
Bendon. The company was very small, but the music was 

Wednesday 20 I passM almost all this morn'g in shopping, & 
made several pretty purchases. After dinner I gave some neces- 
sary orders in the family, & then began to dress for a Brides 
visit. It is a tedious employment this same dressing. It took me 
3 hours at least, what a deal of time to be wasted! but custom, 
& fashion must be attended to. I was ready when Miss Morris 
calPd upon me & we went together to M r? Whartons. The room 
was full of company, & the Bride look'd beautiful, & I judg'd 
from the looks at the Company towards me that I look'd toler- 
able} I was dres'd entirely in white except a suit of pink Beaus 
& had on a new Balloon Hat. I came home about 8 oclock & 
play'd piquet with Papa till ten. 

Wednesday 21 I went this Morning to the Country with 
Louisa, to see my dear Mamma. She was worse in my opinion 
tho she thought she was much the same. I prevailed on her to 
return with us to Town, & I think the ride did her some service. 
I visited another Bride this afternoon, found a great deal of 
company. After Tea, I paid a short visit to M r * Stewart. I was 
taken at the Brides with a bad tooth ach which was so violent 



when I came home that I went to bed almost distracted with 
pain, which continued all night. 

Wednesday 27 Last night I was worse than ever, I was 
obliged to have my Papa called. He gave me something to 
ease me, & I fell asleep & did not wake till late when to my 
great joy I found the gum bile broke & my face entirely easy, 
tho* very much swell'd. I spent the day in comfort as I cou'd 
read, & work alternately without pain. 

Saturday 30 How very dull my time passes away! No com- 
pany, & my eyes so painful that I can't read. I think, I meditate 
on my past life & my future prospects, but neither please me. 
Sweet hope now & then comes in to my relief that a change for 
the better may take place in my hitherto variagated life. I went 
down this morning to breakfast for the first time since my ill- 
ness. My Father seemed much pleased to see me, & introduced 
my Uncle R H L [Richard Henry Lee] to me who is here 
upon a visit. 

"How very dull my time passes away! No company ... !" 
Nancy scarcely had use now for the two pages in the back of 
her journal with its careful apportionment of every precious 
minute of the day and headed: A Proper distribution of the 24 
hours. A budgeteer before the days of budgeting, she had al- 

For rest six hours only in general 

The first three morning hours ought to be passed in study & 
closet duties & occasionally in any epistolary amusements 

Two hours to be allotted to domestic management, at different 
times of the day as occasions require 

Five hours to your needle, music, drawings, geography, &c &c 
in these to be included the assistance & inspection, given to serv- 
ants in the needle works required for the family. 



Two hours to be alloted to your first two meals but if conversa- 
tion, or the desire of friends, require it to be otherwise never 
scruple to oblige and as it may be hard not to exceed in this ap- 
propriation I will put down 

One hour more to dinner time conversation to be added or sub- 
tracted as occasions offered, or the desire of friends may require 

The remaining Five hours 

to be occasionally allotted to conversation, visiting or recieving the 
visits of friends, or to reading either to yourself alone or to the 
family & this allotment of time may be called your fund, upon 
which you may draw to satisfy your other debts 

The seventh day to be kept as it ought to be kept & some part of 
it to be employ 4 in works of mercy, & sometimes an hour allotted 
in it to visiting the neighbouring poor 

A journal ordinary ought to be kept by every young Lady & 
once a week you should rekon with yourself & if within the 144 
hours contained in the six days you have made your account even, 
note it accordingly If otherwise carry the debit to the other weeks 
account; as thus: '^Debtor to the artical of working so many hours" 
and so the rest 

A Proper distribution of time indeed! But the next entry 
proves that it was scarcely possible to live by any set routine: 

Tuesday 2* Let me see, how have I employed my time today? 
The same way that I employed it yesterday, & the day before, & 
the day before that indeed there is such a sameness in my life 
that the particulars of it are hardly worth seting down. How- 
ever it may be of service to me some future day to see how my 
life passes away now & compare it with the manner in which 
it passes away then. This morn'g I gave orders to the servants 
as usual for the business of the day, then took a little work in 
my hand, & set down before the fire, to think, how I shouM 
dispose of myself in the Evening. The morn'g I generally de- 



vote to working or reading, and I concluded to go to the concert. 
Then I considered what I wou'd dress in, & having determined 
that important point, I felt light & easy, & set down to the table 
& eat a very hearty dinner; I then set down to my work for 
half an hour, paid a visit to my Mamma's Chamber, & seated 
myself to my toilet I was ready at six, & called upon Emelia 
who was going & found her ready. D r James accompanied us, 
we found a full room & spent a Charming Evening. 

Here occurs a blank page and a long break in the journal. 
The orderly course of events is hopelessly broken. January, 
1785, seems to have been a period of emotional strain for 
Nancy, although her correspondence with Otto was on the calm 
basis of affectionate friendship. The three letters here given 
must have reached her in late December and early January. 

In the other world, December 4, [1784] 
Madam! 10,001,78!. 

Since my death, that is, since the time on which circumstances 
prevented me from having the happiness of conversing with you, 
I did not receive the least intelligence from Your World. Permit 
me to take hold of this opportunity to send you a few lines from 
these gloomy abodes, M r Ingersol who has resolved to return into 
life for a very important transaction, is so kind as to carry this 
letter and I hope you will give him a kind reception. 

Travelling having allways been my greatest passion, his Plutonic 
Majesty condemned me on my arrival here to make a Journey 
into the moon. A Butterfly was immediately sadled to carry my 
baggage and my own person to that renowned planet. There I 
was happy enough to find a bottle with the inscription: Good Sense 
of M r Writtoolong. I was a little ashamed of that discovery but 
had presence of mind enough to lay claim on the bottle and 
carry it with me in my <portemanteau. My Butterfly, who had 
been once a very great Beaw, proposed a little excursion into the 
planet Venus, but having recovered my bottle I could not pos- 



sibly comply with his extravagant insinuations, and returned in 
this Kingdom, where I have got aUready a number of acquaint- 
ances. These are of a very particular kind and you will perhaps 
be pleased with their description. One of them, a Lady of 20. 
Years, is extravagant enough to think before she speaks and to 
laugh only at her own follies. Another, an Attorney, pretends 
never to receive money but when he has gained his cause. An other, 
an old husband, is allways of the opinion of his wife, and his wife 
does never talk of books though she has read a great deal. A Re- 
publican, who thinks that virtue ought to be the principal founda- 
tion of a good Government 5 a Baron who talks of the equality of 
mankind} a Physician who is candid enough to say that he is 
ignorant^ a Merchant, that offers his money at one per cent; a 
Lady who confesses that she is pass'd fifty, &c. &c. all these curi- 
ous Caracters surround me, and I hope that you will pity my dis- 
tressing situation and order me to return in Your world. A thou- 
sand compliments to my Sweet Friend and believe me to be with 
the greatest respect and the most tender attachment 

Your most obedient 
humble servant 

John Waittoolong 

Patience Island in Elysium 
Madam the 13* December. [1784.] 

Nothing could be more agreeable to me in my gloomy retire- 
ment as a letter from you, the black Sylph who carried it to me 
disappeared as fast % as happiness and I could not give him any 
answer. You will probably receive this letter by a traveller who 
intends to make a tour through the world upon the tail of a Comet. 
This will appear extraordinary to you, but I am now so used to 
strange Scenes that nothing "can surprise me; as to Boston he 
has not yet made his appearance here; besides his reception would 
be very indifferent, as it is a general prejudice in this world that 
Dogs are not worthy to be in company with human beings. 

Since I recovered my bottle, Madam, the pretended instruction 
you received in my Company, must be looked at as a mere com- 



pliment, but even a compliment is agreeable when it is said with 
so much delicacy, and though I read your letter only ten times I 
am ashamed of the barbarous Style of my epistles if compared 
with yours. You will be surprised that we speak so bad English in 
Paradise, but you know that the better sort of people seldom come 
this way. 

Though I am very anxious to see you, Madam, I hope you will 
never pay me a visit on those terms you mention in your letter. 

I respect very much your Councillors, but the task imposed upon 
me is too hard. An Astronomer just arrived from your World 
informs us that his Colleagues have discovered a new flanet; 
when your Resolve will be known some ill natured Rittenhouse 
will discover still more planets and I should never have done 
travelling till I turn myself a Planet. Besides all our Buter- 
flies have been ordered back to your World to attend your 
Churches, your Balls, Concerts and Weddings and it would be very 
difficult for me to get any accommodation for my Journey. It is 
true that Rosmante is still here but the poor animal is so lame 
that it would be cruel to propose her so long a Journey ... my 
respectful Compliments, and contribute as much to her happiness 
as your own heart desires you to do that is, more than any other 
human being can possibly conceive. When nature had done all 
what was in her power to make a perfect Woman, when she had 
graced her Work with all the beauty of Youth, with all the Charms 
of domestic virtue, there was still something left and that some- 
thing was at last [mutilated] ... She gave her the tender heart 
of [illegible] . . . 

Your most devoted 

J. Wait patiently. 



OOMETIME during January, 1785, Colonel Livingston went 
to Philadelphia. In his desire for a reconciliation with Nancy 
he suggests formally and humbly an arrangement for an inter- 
view with her at his lodgings: 

I know my Dearest Girl of no Objection to what you propose 
But a Necessity for some Arrangements which cannot be made pre- 
vious to Your Determination at least Six Months before, perhaps 
future Considerations may make it longer, and if we were per- 
fectly agreed in every thing else that Term could not be Shortened, 
however I press not for anything which may be disagreeable to 

The Lodgings I am at are Retired & you will be sure of seeing 
no one but myself should you think it Advisable, add to this it 
will be in your Power to Shorten the Conference if displeasing. I 
give you my Honour no restraint shall be laid upon your Inclina- 
tions of which I hope you cannot doubt? My Reason for Pressing 
this matter more than I had any Idea I should ever have done is 
from a persuasion, which indeed amounts to Certainty, that if we 
ever again United, that Union will and can only be founded upon 
explanations that must from Necessity if ever take place before 
I leave Phila** Therefore for the last time I entreat you seriously 
to Consider this Matter with the attention it deserves. Your 
Brother I hope will attend you. 

But if you are Determined on the Contrary, I cannot miss the 
proper Conclusion, & in Consequence cannot ever again admit a 
Conference upon this Subject. 

Do not Construe this last sentence into an attempt to force you 
into any Measures that you may think improper. I abhor & detest 



the thought. I speak the Truth & should despise you, if you could 
on any occasion swerve from the dignity of your Station, which 
I think can not receive the least Tarnish from a Conference with 
your Husband, after a three years Cruel absence. 
I can no more farewell . . . 

Yours sincerely & Affectionately 

H B L 

Mrs. Ann Hume Livingston * * 

Nancy, feeling encouraged and happy over the idea of a rec- 
onciliation with her husband, for the sake of being permanently 
with her child, takes up her journal again: 

February 24* 1785 This is my Birth day. I intend from this 
time to continue my journal, which I have neglected doing for 
these (near) four Months past. I heartily pray that I may so 
spend my time as to make me here after happy in the reflection. 
But O! may I have a better motive for trying to act well. O 
that my principal aim may be to please God, & appear good in 
his sight. May I from this time never offend "Him" in act, 
word, or deed! May I be duly mindful of every duty so as to 
be acceptable to God & approved of by virtuous people. Within 
these last three months my time has passed in a continual round 
of insipid amusements, & trivial occupations. I have however in 
the meantime, not long since, seen my husband, after an absence 
of three years j he came to this City upon business. I contrived 
however to see him, and thank God am reconciled to him. I 
have now a prospect of living happily with him & my darling 

Meanwhile, welcome news of Peggy comes from Nancy's 
uncle, Richard Henry Lee, who is President of the Congress 
now meeting in New York, and preparing to move into his 
new house: 



New York, Jan 17, 1785 

... I have twice seen my sweet little cousin Peggy Livinston 
[sic] since my arrival here She is a very pretty & very chatty & 
loves her Uncle mightily. She promises to come & see me often 
when I get in the President's House which will be this week hav- 
ing hired Mrs. Franklin's house in the Street where little Peggy 
lives It is a very elegant House, and provided with every ac- 
commodation I think that little Peggy is very much like her 
picture in your father's House. 

Mr de Barthold has by this time rigged me out in such a manner 
as to convert the old president into a young Beau Very well, if for 
the good of my country I must be a Beau why I will be a 
Beau. . . . 

Meanwhile Nancy attends a series of lectures on physical 
geography and astronomy given by the itinerant blind philoso- 
pher Dr. Moysej she reads French} takes lessons on the gui- 
tar j serves as hostess for her father's dinner guests, and goes to 
an occasional ball. On Tuesday, March ist, she writes in her 

<c Very busy preparing for a very large company who dined 
here today. I left them soon after dinner & drest for a Ball at 
M r * Morris. I danced till 2 & came home much fatigued had 3 
partners but not one that pleased me among them . . . 

She is evidently in a happy frame of mind over the prospect 
of reconciliation. Suddenly, without a word of warning, Nancy 
gets a letter from her eccentric husband which abruptly ends all 
hope or chance for any adjustment* 

Eight o'Clock 

Tomorrow Morning at Nine I leave this Fatal Place, dread- 
fully so to me as tis from here I must Continually date my Mis- 
fortunes. I take my Passage by Water in hopes some happy Acci- 
dent may Rid you of a painful! Restraint and me of My Woes. 
I have this Day endeavoured to Flatter myself, that you would 



have deigned to see me at the Only Place where we could meet 
with Propriety. But I Confess more with a View to keep up my 
almost exhausted Spirits than from real expectation. 

And I write now more for the purpose of Venting an almost 
Bursting Heart, than from Design of Obtaining any other Advan- 
tage. And as in such Situations of it I have in the Anguish that 
wrung my Soul more than once offended without intention, or 
premeditation, which I hope you will do me the justice to acquit 
me of. I therefore Beseech you to pardon any expressions of the 
above Description which may in our Intercourse may have Escaped 
me & be assured that tho I feel myself Cruelly Injured, my Heart 
will never allow me to Complain. With every wish for your felic- 
ity, I Remain 

Henry B. Livingston 

Nancy's reaction to this letter is revealed in her journal: 
"I shew'd it to Papa & received his advice concerning it. 

This letter has destroy'd all my hopes." Some days later she 


Saturday 5 . . . Supp'd tete a tete with Papa, who says he 
sees it will never do for me to return to my inflexible hus- 
band . . . 

Tuesday 8 Spent part of this day in read [ing] to my poor 
Mamma who is much better than she has been but is still 
afflicted with the most strange affection of the mind. Spent a 
most charming Evening at a Ball given by M r D e Marbois. 

Wednesday 9 Heard D r Moyse again this Even* upon trade 
winds & he gave us an account of the formation of the earth. 

Thursday 10 Worked a little at my needle, read, sang, playM 
upon the guittar &c &c in the morn'g gave the necessary orders 
to the servants of the family. After dinner prepaid for the 
Assembly where I spent a most agreable Even'gj had five 



agreable partners. . . . When I came home about one oclock I 
was much alarm* with [news] I had given me of the coachmans 
falling off of the box & nearly killing himself. After he put me 
down at the assembly he came home, took up the maids & car- 
ried them to a Tavern, treated them with wine & cakes & got 
so drunk himself that off he tumbled. There was every thing 
done for him that was necessary, but the poor creatures groans 
still vibrate in my ears. 

Friday n Spent the. morn'g as usual sometimes doing some- 
thing, sometimes nothing. About 4 in the Afternoon D r Cutting 
came in, & we spent the afternoon in the most agreable chit-chat 
manner, drank a very good dish of Tea together & then sep- 
arated. ... I read a little & then retired early to rest. 

Saturday 12 Have not been well today j afflicted with a very 
bad cold but saw a large company at home, the Craig family, 
M rs Vardon & several Gent 11 the Even'g pass'd off in the most 
agreable manner. When the company was gone Mamma joined 
us & appeared better than usual which gave us all the greatest 

[ Here a leaf has been torn out] 

Very little is told in the journals for the rest of the year of 
1785, but a great deal in the letters from Tommy, Mrs. The- 
odorick Bland, Uncle Arthur Lee and Uncle Richard Henry 

An engaging letter from Tommy describes the stately ele- 
gance of the President's house in New York City now occupied 
by Uncle Richard Henry as President of the Congress and also 
gives an intriguing picture of little Peggy: 

I find my uncle here in a Palace, and think indeed that he does 
the honors of it, with as much ease and dignity as if he had been 



always crowned with a real diadem. My chamber is a spacious 
and elegant one and prettily furnished. I now write in it, and which 
way soever I turn my eyes I find a triumphal Car, a Liberty Cap, a 
Temple of Fame or the Hero of Heroes, all these and many more 
objects of a piece with them, being finely represented on the hang- 
ings Never were more honors I believe paid to any man, and 
very seldom with more cordiality than are daily heaped upon the 
head of the master of this Castle. I rejoice at it because I believe 
no man ever better deserved them. Billets of invitation without 
number, visiting cards and letters of friendly congratulations fill 
every mantle piece and corner of every chamber. Centinels guard 
his door, crowds of obedient domestics run to his call and fly at his 
command, and a profusion of the delicacies & luxuries of good 
living crowns his hospitable board. This you will say is not among 
the most unpleasant circumstances of the business in your son's 
estimation. I acknowledge it my good father, I acknowledge that 
from a strict observance of you and a constant endeavor from my 
youth to do as my father did, I have imbibed an Epicurean taste, 
and really I think with Mons r De St Evremond whose expression 
I have just used, that even Cato's virtues without it would not 
make us completely estimable or happy. But he speaks as I mean 
to do of all the pleasures we are suseptible of when he uses the 
word Epicurean 

Last night I paid my first visit to the Old Lady, my uncle in- 
troduced me to her$ She received me with very great politeness 
and made many affectionate enquiries after my Sister my dear 
Mamma and yourself, & expressed great concern for Mamma's 
situation} She then sent for the little darling; Miss Margaret had 
heard in the course of the afternoon that her Uncle Tommy Ship- 
pen was come to town, and had made the name re-echo through 
every part of the Entry Staircase and parlour Yet when she was 
brought in, she put on the most old maidenist coyness you can 
conceive, and said that I was not her uncle, for I was a Gentle- 
man> by which I suppose she meant a Stranger. However with 
the assistance of a Gate (for she is Mother's own daughter in that 
respect) and a good deal of coaxing she owned that she conceived 


me to be her own Uncle, but not her uncle Tom, for he was in 
Baltim* but her Uncle Shippen. The old Lady tells me that when 
my Uncle Arthur came to take leave of her he had been asking 
her what he must say to her Mamma, her Grand-Papa Shippen, 
her Grand Mamma Shippen, and her uncle Tommy Shippen, she 
accordingly sent them her love, and when he had been gone a few 
minutes, she very gravely broke forth in this Soliloquy: Grand- 
Papa Shippen! Grand Mamma Shippen! Uncle Shippen! What 
then am I Shippen! 

The old Lady supposes her a prodigy of good sense. But I 
should have told you that after I had bribed her with Cake and 
Tea, and with a sight of my red pocketbook which she insisted on 
being allowed to call hers, she seated herself very much at her 
ease on my lap & held up her little ruby lips, as often as I wished 
to kiss them, which was every minute, and practised so many little 
endearing ways upon me that the old Lady could not keep her 
hands off of her, but almost smothered her with kisses. She is ex- 
cessively fond of her Uncle the Pres* he sends her Good things 
as she calls them, and she searches his pockets with the greatest 
freedom imaginable for something which she thinks he must have 
at the bottom of them for her. She takes the round two or three 
times in the Evening to dispense her Curtesys and her kisses to all 
her uncles and aunts, whom she mentions by name before she 
makes her curtesy, and then offers up the little mouth which really 
appears to me in great danger of being kissed to pieces. 

Nancy's devoted friend, Martha Bland, writes her from Vir- 
ginia during May and June, referring pleasantly to old times 
together in Philadelphia: 

Cawsons May 12 th 1785 Virginia 

... I have had a thousand times a Mind to begin a Correspond- 
ence with you, but I feartl to venture upon your time knowing 
how well you Can, and do, fill it up. But for the future you shall 
have no Cause to complain of me for few people take so much 
delight as I do in dweling on scenes which have given me such 
Pleasure as Fve experienced under your dear Papa and Mam- 



mas Happy, Hospitable, & Cheerfull roof. Tell your Mamma I yet 
flatter myself we shall see the whole groop from forth Street, in 
Virginia, and then we will Laugh at all the little f oolerys we have 
past together & by no means leave our friend Arthur out. Sweet 
little Peggy too, Bob sends her twenty kisses. . . . 

As to my situation] it is as pleasing as my Country will admit 
of. I want nothing to make me Happy in this life but a little more 
agreable societyj such as a charming Evening in Philadelphia 
affords, what tho it gives My Lady Scandal an opportunity, to 
thro' her shafts yet innocence & true virtue hold her at arms 
length especially when Supported by the best of Husbands. Good 
[God] Bless you my dear Nancy! and if you cou'd be as happy 
as I wish you to be your Lot wou'd be perfect felicity. . . . 

/ M Bland 

Tommy is making preparations for a voyage to England and 
a several years' stay abroad, for his father plans for him to study 
law at the Inner Temple in London and then to make the grand 
tour. In one of his letters to his sister in the summer, Tommy 
refers to Uncle Arthur Lee's appointment to the Treasury 
Board and adds his opinion uncommon in that day that 
women should be interested in public affairs: 

I know that in all governments Republican as well as Monarchi- 
cal who direct and manage the purse must have a great share in 
the government of the Nation and because I know of no person 
better qualified or more to be relied on than our good Uncle A 

You see I cant help wanting you to be a little of a politician 
and indeed I do most exceedingly and always have reprobated that 
fashionable notion of entirely excluding from political study or 
action, all your sex, on the pretence forsooth that they are too 
weak to be useful, too unsteady to be learned and because they I 
mean the men undertake to assert that God has intended you for 
an inferior sphere. . . . 



The important event of Louis Otto's return from France in 
a new official capacity for his government stirs Nancy to write 
again in her journal, Sept. 6, 1785 Sunday: 

I have lived as usual with my dear indulgent Father trying 
to be happy, & to make him so, since I wrote the journal of last 
June. This Morn'g I was disturbed again in my mind, by hear- 
ing that my Friend Leander is arrived from France in the hon- 
orable character of Secretary to the Embassy & charge des affairs 
of France. Now must I be wretched in the reflection of what I 
have lost. O! had I waited till the obstacles were remov'd that 
stood in my Fathers way, then had I been compleatly happy. 
Now they are removed, but what is my unfortunate situation! 
A wretched slave doom'd to be the wife of a Tyrant I hate 
but from whom, thank God, I am separated. My amiable & 
still sincere friend writ me an account of his arrival & appoint- 
ment. I answer'd his letter by an opportunity I heard of today. 
I wish'd him happiness! I sincer e ly wish it him tho' I am de- 
prived of it. What have I not suffered in my mind since his 
arrival} all my woes revived afresh. . . . 

Sep* 15 The strangest alteration has taken place in my feel- 
ings that can be conceived} my tranquility is fled, I am absent, 
thoughtfull & unhappy} I make a thousand mistakes in a day. 
This last week what miseries have I not suffered in my mind} 
my dear Father too observes it. Alass! my behavior does not 
please him. I appear discontented. I neglect my duties I seek 
in the charms of disipation for happiness. I find none I return 
home more unhappy than before, displeased with every thing I 
have said or heard I will for the future stay more at home, see 
less company} for two reasons, my Father wishes it, & I feel 
more than ever that retirement suits me best. 

Ah! me where shall I seek for consolation? My darling 



Child! If I had but herj I shou'd not be quite unhappy, she 
wou'd serve to console me, but she is taken from me, for I 
know not how long. O! my God teach me resignation to thy 
divine will, & let me not suffer in vain! I staid at home all 
this day till the Even'g, I then went with my Mamma to har- 
rowgate springs. I return'd early & drank Tea alone with Papa. 
He is now gone out & I am alone. My Mother is gone to bed 
what shall I do it is two hours before my bed time I wont go 
out. I can't fix my attention to read. Had I but my Child with 
what care I'd watch over her. 

October i5 th Another Month is pass'd & no alteration has 
taken place in my situations I am however more reconciled to 
it than ever I was. I find an infinite pleasure in trying to im- 
prove myself & my mind is much more composed since I have 
determined to employ every hour of my time usefully, except 
those destin'd by every body to amusement & relaxation. Music 
& reading & writing fill up half the days work, family duties & 
dressing, the others the evening I devote to seeing my friends 
either at home or abroad. Thus I enjoy at present a negative 
happiness disturbed it is occasionally, by some few cross acci- 
dent [s] & disagreable reflections. Now & then I hear of my 
Child & some times form plans of having her with me, & 
as often am disappointed. My Husband (what misery, alass to 
me, that I have one) lives in his old way trying to deprive his 
wife & lawful heir of their property by throwing it away on 
miserable undeserving objects. I have another new scource of 
woe, for the authoriz'd separation that I have been so long ex- 
pecting to take place, is given over entirely. Thus am I situated 
differently from all the human race, for I am deprived of all 
hope of ever being more happy in this world the next I leave 



During this period Nancy finds in The Old Lady a sympa- 
thizing friend. Madam Livingston writes her: 

. . I often think of you my poor girl, your Mother so situated 
as she is your unhappy Marriage arising from events disagree- 
able on both sides, your brother absent, y r child at a distance & y r 
father's profession by which you must lead a solitary life. God I 
hope will make all things work together for good to your soul & 
that all these trials may lead your heart to himself & that you 
may find afflictions sanctified to you & receive a bowed will in 
conforming to that of God's. Peggy sends her love & thanks for 
the fine presents. You cant think how happy she is with your 

In order to be in closer touch with Peggy, Nancy begins to 
make plans to spend the winter in New York. Her mother's 
health is improving and the prospects are so promising, she 
writes Martha Bland, who replies: 

Virginia, Cawsons, October 23 d 1785. 

To tell you, my dear M rs Livingston, that your letter gave me 
infinite pleasure wou'd be tautology. Be assured, that every re- 
membrance of yours will ever be inexpressibly agreable to me. I 
will not take it as mearly a Compliment, when you say I added to 
your felicity during the time I resided in Philadelphia. It wou'd 
have been unpardonable, had I not thrown in my poor pittance of 
abilities, to the social Circle. Ah! my dear Nancy! what pleasur- 
able moments have we pass'd together! How sweetly glided the 
evening off. It seems like a pleasing dream, yet it was a dream of 
long continuance, of three Charming years. Oh! I cou'd dream my 
whole life away just soj but fate has sundered usj we are thrown 
to every point of the Compass, and perhaps, nay, 'tis too probable, 
may never all meet again. Cruel reflection! it alwais imbitters 
my gayest moments when I suffer myself to think upon the 

I rejoice to hear of your Mammas recovery. May it be perma- 
nent! Beg of your Pappa to Continue to me that partiality, which 
has so often distinguished me as his favorite. To hear of your 


brothers Happy & successful progress in that line of life which he 
has marked out for himself will ever be pleasing to M r Bknd 
and myself, as his sincere friends* . . . 

I think M r Marbois has Excellent luck to be chosen Intandant 
of an Island which will render him both honor and profit I have 
an exalted opinion of M r Ottos heart, it is an honest and an upright 
one, therefore I rejoice at any event which can reward his merit} 
but I long to hear of some Duke or Marquess, being sent by owr 
friend TLewes y to take Charge of his affairs. Me thinks Mer- 
chants from Spain, and Secretarys from france, make our Sover- 
eignty but a poor Compliment. But this entre nous, my dear 
Nancy! as I both esteem, and admire Otto. 

You will spend a delightful winter in New York. Wou'd to 
heaven! I cou'd join you there, but I dont know how it is. The 
Virginian ladies are almost in a State of vegitation. Our familys 
are so situated, that we must attend to the innumerable wants of 
them, or make one great effort and cast off all Care, as to ourselves 
it is only the cost of a dollar, which directs us either way. A few 
weeks past, we were at Norfolk (a Seaport town in Virginia) and 
hearing of a packet boat about to sail for N. York Mr B. imme- 
diately proposed a jaunt, to me. However, we recollected some 
little domestick matters, which were rather against such a sudden 
trip, such as clothing our Negroes for the winter, before we left 
them. At length it was determined that Heads or pillars should 
carry it. However, it was not a favorable throw, for our trip, and 
we determined to return to Cawson. But as far advanced as the 
winter is, if I was to propose, spending it in N. Y. my Excellent 
Husband wou'd immediately second me. 

We are here in all the Luxury of domestick ease, & Happiness. 
I want nothing but a bustle to make my time pass off delightfully. 
There is so much calm and passive Happiness in my Situation it 
some time fills me [with] ennui, and at the same time my reason 
reproves me for it, for do not the poets paint the very life I am 
leading, as the summit of all earthly joys? If I lived in the vicinity 
of a large city, I shou'd be in paradise but so remote from the 
noise of the bon mond y such a sameness, nothing to agitate the 


Spirits. However we have not ceased to think of, and promote 
our European trip. It gains ground every day in our hearts. Pray 
my dear, be so good as to tell Sally Dill that it is only in case I 
should go to Europe, that I shall send for her. Here I have so 
many attendants that I can have no want of others. I shall wish as 
ardently for a letter from you & my friend Tom as a lover 
wishes for a sight of his Mistress. No matter how trifling the sub- 
ject so that the letter is long. Indeed every little thing interests 
me. Mr Bland sends you a lass. I send one to y r Pappa. My best 
love and sincere affections to y r Mamma, yourself, the whole fam- 
ily & to all inquiring friends. Adieu my dear Nancy. Nobody loves 
you better than I do. Montesquieu sends his comp* 8 to you 

Yours for ever 

M. B. 

As Mrs. Eland's letter indicates, Alice Lee's extreme mental 
depression at this period of her life was more or less tempo- 
rary in its nature. Apart from physical causes, her spiritual 
trials had been exceptionally severe: a shadowed girlhood, too 
frequent childbearing, the death of six children in infancy, dis-* 
tress over the war with England, and separation from her 
family during the first years of the Revolution. After they were 
all reunited, she had encouraged and approved the attachment 
between Nancy and Louis Otto. But in obedience to her hus- 
band's dictates, and the unwritten law that made a wife sub- 
ordinate in all things, she had taken part in the conspiracy to 
force Nancy to break her troth to Otto and marry Colonel Liv- 
ingston. And she had stood by, helpless before the train of evils 
and disasters for her daughter that followed that marriage. 

The coining of her first grandchild, for whom she had sent 
to France for "Baby linnen," was for her the greatest event in 
the history of Shippen House. Yet she agreed to have that 
child banished by her own husband, her a lov*d and honor'd 
husband," for the sake of securing for little Peggy a future 



fortune. She was a mute and helpless witness to her daughter's 
anguish a prolonged torture which was eventually to bring 
its one inevitable result. She realized, too, her part in spoiling 
her son, in making him vain and irresponsible, and she re- 
pented that too late. Besides all this, Alice Lee, inheriting her 
mother's pitying mind, had come to know the poverty and 
misery with which a physician's wife was ever in contact and 
could neither remedy nor alleviate. 

Her decision to leave Dr. Shippen and Nancy for "the still 
and quiet" of the country she loved, was made so that in 
the solitude she might pray forgiveness for her sins, regain by 
meditation and prayer her mental and spiritual strength her 
lost self, as it were. She read the Bible continuously. It was 
woman's only refuge in a world aligned against her. She be- 
came almost a religious fanatic. While she never did recover 
completely, it is significant that several years later, after 
Tommy's marriage and the coming of grandsons who became 
dependent upon her, she became normal, active, intelligent and 
kind. When her husband died in 1808 she carried the full re- 
sponsibility of the rearing and education of Tommy's two boys. 
For Thomas Lee Shippen died prematurely in 1798, and his 
widow remarried soon after. 

With the approach of winter, Nancy's uncle Richard Henry 
Lee, back in Virginia once more, refers to little Peggy in one 
of his letters from Chantilly: 

". . . Our felicity would be complete indeed if our Phila- 
delphia friends made part of our Circle I am not without 
hopes that it may one day or other be the case. . . . You have 
numerous friends here who will all rejoice to see you and the 
fine sparkling black eyes of little Frank will glisten wonder- 
fully at the beautiful blue eyes of his fair cousin Peggy Liv- 



Though the journals record nothing about Peggy at this 
time, news of her came in a letter from Otto: 

, -p - j New York Nov bcr 5* 1785 

My dear Friend J ' > 

I have till now defered writing to you because I constantly ex- 
pected to go to Philadelphia but this agreeable Journey does not 
yet appear to be very near and your Brother being on his return I 
take the liberty to trouble him with a few lines. Some people here, 
(and amongst them I am myself) believe that you will spend a 
part of next Winter in New York. This would be the more agreable 
for you as your little daughter is expected in town. M r * Mont- 
gommery and Miss Livingston are already arrived and would be as 
well as the Misses at Hanover Square very happy to see you. The 
Winter it is supposed will be very gay. Balls, assemblies, plays 
and concerts are already projected and the New York beauties are 
preparing offensive and defensive Weapons for the approaching 
season. In your Philosophical retreat, my dear Friend, these little 
things will perhaps not interest you, but the Friends you have here 
will certainly be a great inducement. I am very happy to hear 
that you are still very sociable with M r? Craigj there are not two 
persons in the World worthier to live in a perfect union with each 
other and I flatter myself to be a Wittness of your happiness on 
my arrival in Philadelphia. 

The departure of the President is generally regretted here and 
I am on my own account very sorry to loose himj but the restora- 
tion of his health is equally dear to me and I hope that the air 
of his native Country will be of great use to him. 

Please to present my best Compl. [compliments] to M r and 
M 19 Shippen and to be persuaded that I constantly am 
Your sincere Friend 

and humble servant T ^ ^ 

LJ. Vjr. (J. 

When Nancy was obliged to abandon her plans for a winter 
in New York where she could see and be with the two she 
loved most, it was a crushing blow. She took up her journal 
on the last day of the year 1785: 


December the last day With what speed has the last year 
passed away! It seems but as yesterday, since the last new 
years day! but alass it is a whole year taken from my life 
And a whole year of experience added to it; I cannot accuse 
myself of vanity, when I say I think myself more wise, more 
patient, more resign'd to my situation than I was the last year. 
Yes! I think I am upon the whole much happier! altho' there 
is no difference in my manner of living no prospect yet of 
there being a change for the better j but I begin to think that 
happiness consists more in our minds being at ease, than in all 
the variety of accidental circumstances. If that is really the 
case, why may I not be happy! Yes I may be compleatly so if 
I persevere in the path of my duty, & always remember that 
a virtuous life insures happiness, & eternal felicity. 

January I st Dined at home alone with Papa. 

Saturday 3* went with M r * Vardon & M 1 * Samento to M r 
Peales exhibition. 

Sunday 4 company at dinner spent the afternoon & evening 
alone reading Young's Night Thoughts. Received a letter from 
my Uncle Arthur & heard from sweet Peggy. 

The letters were reassuring: "Late news from the Manor 
says that Peggy was perfectly well at school," writes Uncle 
Arthur: '"learns with great quickness and is very charming . . . 
Peggy's father came to see her & was fond of her. . . ." 

Later he refers to Louis Otto, doubtless in reply to a query 
from Nancy, but not by name: 

I very seldom have an opportunity of conversing with the 
charming person you mention. He looks always gentle [illegible] 



& pleasing. When the season renders my country residence pleas- 
ant, I shall often invite him to breakfast, for I have a real esteem 
for him and his conversation is always pleasing. But as he sup- 
poses his swaining proceedings are profoundly secret from me, I 
never venture to touch upon them. The overture must come from 
him . . . My brother is well & desires his love. I saw your friend 
the other day. He looked exceedingly handsome. . . . 

Arthur Lee does not appear to have the slightest realization 
of the depth of feeling between his niece and the French 
Diplomat. When he refers to the current gossip then linking 
Eliza Livingston's name with Otto's, he says "Susan and Eliza 
are certainly to be married to Kean & Otto wormwood for 
somebody & rue for you. . . ." 

For a long time Nancy had known of the possibility of a 
marriage between Louis Otto and Eliza Livingston, a kins- 
woman of her husband and Nancy's best friend in New York. 
She had even expressed a hope that Otto would in time love 
Eliza, "who is just what a woman ought to be, sensible, polite, 
tender" ... to repeat her own words of some years before. 

Their wedding took place shortly after Nancy received her 
Uncle Arthur's teasing letter. The register of the chapel of 
the French Legation in New York contains the record that on 
March 13, 1787, Sieur Louis Guillaume Otto, charge d'affaires 
for France in the United States, married Miss Eliza Livingston, 
daughter of Peter Van Brugh Livingston, Esq. 

Nancy commended Otto's course as the only path of wisdom 
or happiness for him, as in truth it was. With her inborn pride 
and courtesy, she would pray God's blessing on the man she 
so loved, and upon his wife and his children in the sweet rela- 
tionships that she could never hold. 

There are comparatively few entries in the journal during 



the next weeks. Several items refer to Nancy's attendance at a 
series of lectures on physical geography, astronomy, etc., being 
given in Philadelphia that season by the blind philosopher Dr. 
Moyse. Interest in pseudo-science was then the fad of the hour 
not only in Philadelphia and New York but also in London 
and Paris. Nancy mentions "a lecture on Grammar & Pronunci- 
ation, by M r Webster author of a Grammatical Institute. He 
was eloquent & just in his criticisms. . . ." 

Tuesday 6th Spent my day at home as usual, & the even'g 
went to a very large & brilliant Party at M r? Vaughans, above 
fifty people, & every body in high spirits. 

Thursday 8 ik The Philosopher D r Moyse drank a sociable 
dish of Tea with Papa & Myself, after which I went with him 
to Miss Craigs, where I spent the remainder of the evening 
agreably. The good D r entertained us on the Piano Forti, on 
which he play'd delightfully. He insisted on my performing, I 
did, & accompanied it with my voice. 

Saturday 10 Had a small party at home this even'g. The 
blind Philosopher made one of the company. The even'g the 
most disagreable I ever spent owing altogether to M r S.'s ill- 
timed raillery. His extreme ill natur'd criticisms made every 
one unhappy. D r Moyse far from being entertaining. 

Sunday n Pass'd this day in writing by D r Moyse to some 
of my friends in Charleston. I recommend him in the strongest 
terms to their civility & protection. Major Jackson drank Tea & 
spent the even'g with us in a sociable way. 

Monday 12 A Company of learned men dined here today 
The little time I stay'd at table I was very highly entertained. 

Wednesday 14 Saw nobody & went nowhere. 


Thursday 15 This Evening I shall always remember as one 
of the happiest I ever spent. M r? Allen & the Miss Chews 
drank Tea with me & spent the even'g. There was half a dozen 
agreable & sensible men that was of the party. The conversa- 
tion was carried on in the most sprightly, agreable manner, the 
Ladies bearing by far the greatest part till nine when cards 
was proposed, & about ten, refreshments were introduced which 
concluded the Evening. 

Friday 16 I was awak'd this morn'g with a present from my 
dear Papa of a nosegay, composed of hyacinths & myrtle. As I 
proposed spending the day out of Town I thought I cou'd not 
dispose of my bouquet better than by presenting it to the 
charming M r * Craig who I knew was to have a Party this 
Even'g to which I was invited but had pleaded an excuse. I 
enclosed it in this little note: 

Dear Madam, 

I think I have heard you say you are fond of flowers, give me 
leave to present you with the first hyacinth I have seen this Spring. 
The charming little stranger certainly deserves some recompense 
for paying us a visit so early in the season at the risk of its tender & 
delicate constitution. The greatest reward I think it can meet with 
is your permitting it to live & die in your bosom. 

She received it & sent me a most gallant answer. 

Saturday 17 Louisa & myself staid all night with our friend 
M r * Burrows who insisted on our staying & dining with her 
today also. We agreed & after dinner had a pleasant ride to 
Town accompanied by M r Bond. We stop'd by the way to see 
the beautiful greenhouse & garden of M r Francis. 



Wednesday 21 Drank Tea at M** Vardons with Miss Craig, 
Zeleida & Louisa a so so even'g which must be the case when 
cards are the sole amusement. 

Thursday 22 Must I acknowledge that the greatest part of 
this day was spent in preparing for the assembly. I went with 
M r? & Miss Coxe & danced with M r Coxe. 

The monotony of Nancy's days is occasionally broken by the 
diverting letters written her and her father by Brother Tommy, 
now studying law at the Inner Temple in London: 

Thirteen vessels from Philadelphia and New York and not one 
line from M rs L. to T. L. S. How unaccountable,! how unfriendly! 
how unsisterly! If you have any regard left for the gentleman 
above named, I beg that you will oblige him to alter his tone in his 
very next letter, and change his upbraidings into thanks which he 
assures me, he shall be always ready to do and with the utmost 
chearfulness, whenever you give him occasion by writing him a very 
long, very circumstantial, and very particular letter, informing 
him of all the news (except what belongs to y* region of Scandal) 
which is now in circulation among the great and fair, at Council- 
chambers, at Coffee houses, at tea tables and at toilets. 

And all this, being a very curious gentleman indeed, he most 
assuredly expects from you j so that if you do not wish to grieve and 
disappoint him, you know your course. And this is being open with 
you. He presents to you on this occasion his sincere affection and 
brotherly love, and to your little feet and legs a half dozen of 
white cotton hose, which he hopes will not be unacceptable or 
uncomfortable. Remembering that yoit never wear silk, he has 
chosen these for you to wear when other ladies do,* and hopes that 
by their fineness and softness, they will confirm you still more in 
your preference to cotton which he thinks from experience to be by 
much the best wear. He has worn socks and under stockings of 
cotton gauze ever since his arrival in England with great advan- 
tage. He would send you a hat also by this occasion, but as it is not 



yet determined what will be the fashionable one this winter, and as 
he wishes to let you know the fashions by what he sends, he waits 
with patience until their high Mightinesses the Dutchesses, the 
Marchionesses and the wives of Earls (commonly called Count- 
esses) come to town, hold their Council and decide the knotty 
point There are almost no fashionable people in town at present, 
nor does any other topic present itself upon which to write to a 
fine lady if we except Theatrical ones, and they are so much y* 
same yesterday today and forever in a mediocrity of actorial excel- 
lence, (which is all that I have yet seen) that when you have once 
touched them, you cannot write upon them again without a dull 
and tedious repetition. 

Yet I expect that when The Siddons shall make her appearance, 
a new field will be opened, and I will ramble in it I promise you, 
whenever I think it to your satisfaction. In the meantime, will you 
do me the favor to bear my best compliments to M Craig, M rs 
Vardon and the whole circle of our pretty acquaintances. In it a 
Miss Sally Shippen holds a distinguished, I might have said super- 
eminent rank, I beg that I may be remembered to her with partic- 
ular emphasis, and assurance of strong consanguineal attachment 
as well as that which results from her beauty and accomplish- 
ments. Tell M w Craig that England boasts no such woman, as far 
as I can see or learn. 

October 4. I have indeed beheld, I have heard, I have felt, 
through my whole system felt her, the matchless queen of tears, 
the incomparable Siddons. And Oh! for power equal to my inclina- 
tion to do justice to her merits, to give you an idea however in- 
adequate, how sublime she is, how exquisite my feelings were. But 
to describe her perfections or to convey a just idea of their effects, 
would be almost as difficult as to equal the one without supernat- 
ural assistance, or without being a spectator to conceive of the 
other. She shone in the character of Belvidera in the Tragedy of 
Venice preserved and you are too well versed in Dramatic lore, 
in particular too zealous a votary of Melpomene not to know 
that the character is admirably suited to the exertion of great 



abilities. In the mad scene she was particularly great, and in the 
cry of murder, piercing to the most phlegmatic breast. 

But as I despair of giving you any idea of this prodigy at pres- 
ent, I must wait until I have seen her again, which I hope to do 
and again before I proceed farther in my description. At present 
suffice it to say, and do not I pray you think me profane for the 
sentiment limited as it is in its nature, that she surpassed every 
idea I had found of powers oratorical in the Heaven above, in the 
Earth beneath, or in the Waters under the Earth. 

I am indeed your affectionate brother and sincere friend 

Thomas Lee Shippen 

At length Nancy receives the welcome news that Madam 
Livingston is sending Peggy to her: 

Your Daughter shall [be home] on Sat under the care of her 
Uncle Tillotson & my Dinah who is very careful & tender of 
her . , . You will remember I deposite to your maternal arms a 
sweet and tender plant, watch over her I entreat you, spoil her 
not by winking at disobedience nor on the other hand be not 
severe as she has so much sensibility that it would make her un- 
happy without complaining of it ... Ask her to show you her 
pocket hdf which she has hemmed [be] Surpris[ed] how well it is 
done. Her book do not suffer her to neglect . . . 

Peggy was to be placed in the loving care of Uncle Arthur 
who wrote to Nancy: 

Our dear little Peggy is expected hourly with her Aunt Mont- 
gomery & Mrs. Lee [Matilda] will speedily bring her next week. 
My Brother will be with you I expect on Monday next & by him 
I hope to inform you that your darling is here. 

P.S. Sat. Morning. I have this moment kissed your little Dear 
who arrived the day before yesterday with her Aunt Montgomery. 
She is in high health & is a charming girl. Next week Mrs. Lee will 
set out with her for Philadelphia & you will press her to your 



heart. Quelle joie! My love to Shippen. Adieu. My brother brings 
you a letter from the good old Lady. Matilda's love. 

Matilda Lee was Nancy's dear Stratford cousin, with whom 
she had corresponded years before, from Mistress Rogers' 
School in Trenton. Shortly after Peggy was born a few 
months following the surrender of Cornwallis news had 
come from Virginia of the marriage of Matilda Lee to their 
cousin Light Horse Harry Lee. During 1785-86 Colonel 
Harry had been elected to the Congress in New York. On their 
way North he and Matilda, "his Mrs. Lee," as he called her, 
had visited Shippen House and Nancy. They were to be fre- 
quent guests henceforth and, best of all, from Nancy's view- 
point, they were to provide ways and means for little Peggy's 
coming oftener to Philadelphia to see her mother. 

With Peggy back, a happy winter must have followed. 
Madam Livingston writes frequently of Peggy and, through 
the child, is often in touch with Uncle Arthur Lee whose gen- 
tleness and goodness lead her to question in amazement why 
he should have so many "Enemyes!" 

My Dear Mad . . . 

I am very much obliged by the favorable oppinion you form of 
my Judgment in training her in sentiments of Virtue and honor. 
You may rest assured that the Same line of conduct that I have 
persued in the Education of my Daughters (and I flatter myself I 
have succeeded to my wish with them) shall be observed with 
respect to so beloved a Child invariably. . . . 

M r Lee is so obliging as to take Charge of this for you. He will 
be able to answere all your inquiries about her little improvements 
much better then I can at this time. Give me leave to observe to 
you our Mutual obligation to him for his tender attention to the 
dear Child in which we have often admired the goodness of his 
Heart, which joined to his Mental and acquired Abilities have 



procured to him the Esteem of all my family whence has that 
Gentleman so many Enemyes (this in confidence to you alone) 
. . . Believe me to be with Great respect 

Yours Sincerely 
N. York 3 April 1786 Marg* Livingston 

With the change for her following Otto's marriage, how 
fortunate it was for Nancy to have Peggy with her ! She had no 
time for her journal now. In spite of her excellent theories 
and counsel. Madam Livingston had, in her overweening fond- 
ness for the child, quite spoiled her. Nancy evidently had her 
hands full. Dr. Shippen casts some light on this situation when 
he writes to Tommy describing Peggy's first tea party: 

Who do you imagine had a Tea Party & Ball last night? Miss 
Livingston invited by card 3 days before, 20 young misses, treated 
them with all good things, & a violin, Miss Morris, Bingham, 
Chew, Willing, &c. &c., 5 coaches at y* door at 10 when they de- 
parted. I was much amused 2 hours. Peg behaved with great polite- 
ness & danced a cottillion well She is a very sensible & improved 
child. Nancy has great credit from the difference y* appears in her 
conduct from what it was when she came here. 

Little more than a week later Tommy is sent an account of 
his birthday celebration at his home in Philadelphia: 

I7th: This day my son is 22 years of age. God grant he may live to 
more [years] very honorably & happily to himself & profitably to 
his country! Remember what Mr. Pitt was at 25! 

Miss Bingham & Miss Livingston your niece have been dancing 
minuets & Cottilions in their way in honor of your Birthday all this 
evening before Mrs. Bingham, Miss Willing, your sister, Major 
Jackson, Mr. Pollard, Mr. McPrager & your father. Prager & 
Mr. Moses Franks played for y* children. They all joined in 
wishing you many, very many, happy Patricks Days. 

Another letter, filled with praise for the little girl, goes for- 
ward on April 20: 



Your Sister has gained great credit in the management of Peggy 
who is amazingly improved, & much admired by y* whole Town. 
She says 5 of your old speeches, sings 6 songs & behaves with the 
most engaging propriety. She loves & fears her Mamma much. 
Not one in the house from Tom. L. Ryan up, but will be sorry 
when she goes to New York. Your Mamma is in Town, is better, 
& much delighted with Peg. She joined this evening in a hymn 
with her & your Sister & Piano Forte. . . . W. S. 

Another letter of Dr. Shippen refers to his wife: 

My d* Son 

Your dear Mamma has paid us a visit of 10 days & has been sit- 
ting with Peggy & me 3 hours in my room seems much more 
composed than she was $ tho now she begins to think it is too great 
an indulgence for her to live w h us any longer she wishes you 
would not harbour any illwill against Tories or Britons you ought 
to think America was to blame as well as england &c &c. 

After Peggy's departure the summer is a busy one for Nancy, 
so busy that she continues to neglect her journal. Accounts of 
these months come only from Dr. Shippers letters to Tommy: 

My d* Son Philadelphia i June 1787. 

. . . Your Sister had an elegant Teaparty last night 7 carriages 
at y* door Miss Allen looked remarkably well & sung her best j as 
I handed M rs A. to her coach I mentioned the conquest I had 
discovered Miss had made of my Son She put more of her hand 
into mine & said, Well D r , Raney is a good Girl & he is a very 
clever Fellow, it will do very welL M r * Morris, M 1 * Ridley, for- 
merly Miss K. Livingston, M r * Bingham, M 1 * King, M* 9 Pinckney 
(Miss Stead) M r? Moore & their husbands P Bond & his 3 Sisters 
Mess" G. Harrison, Rutledge, F. Corbin, y 2 Franks John Liv- 
ingston & M r Reinagle were the party. Gen 1 Washington, the 
Penns, the Chews & the Coxes were invited but engaged. Nancy 
made a great exertion at the nobility & acquitted herself to a 
charm as you know she can when every thing is to her mind 



. . . Your Grandfather came to town last evening, & seexn'd 
pleased with the show his Grand-daughter made. . . . 

June 4. 1787. 

We live very frugally & are very well satisfied with each other 
when a Tea party is on foot Miss makes a little racket, however 
as nobody contradicts her she is generally well pleased & good 
humor'd, looks much y* better for it. Little Becky is married to 
a cober womans shoe maker & lives in my wooden house next y* 
Chappel. her sister Kitty attends your Sister & a big Becky cooks 
& scrubs. Bill & Tom are waiters and Stephen is hired when we 
have company, the horses are at pasture y* summer Season there- 
fore no Coachman necessary Whenever I go into y* country to 
see a patient or to take a ride my old Friend T. Smith is ready to 
accompany me in his chair. 

Nov r 7. 1787. 

Col. Harry x & M* 9 Lee have spent this evening with us in a 
very friendly sociable manner, Oysters & Eggs our Repast M r 
& M r * Bingham called in the evening & sat with us about an hour, 
M r? Lee had never seen her, was much delighted with her indeed 
& M r? B. thought M r? Lee very like what your Mamma was 
your Letters pleased them much, The Col speaks highly of your 
abilities & enviable prospects They set off tomorrow for Virginia 
Nancy behaved like a Virginian like her Mother. . . . 

Good night my d r Boy 

A diverting incident was the protracted journey of a fash- 
ionable hat sent by Tommy to his sister, and consigned to the 
care of their Uncle Arthur Lee. It so inspired that gentleman's 
sense of humor that he devoted almost an entire letter to its 

[June 3, 1787] 

I cannot gratify the dear Mother about her dear daughter 
farther than that she arrived safe at Clermont with her Grand 

1 Light Horse Harry Lee. 


mamma & her Aunt Montgomery. I forwarded your letter, my 
dear Nancy, by post 5 but have not heard from the old Lady. At 
length the dear delightful, long expected hat is arrived. It came 
in a square box, somewhat smaller than a common [ ? ] Imperial. 
I was obliged to open it in order to pay the duty on the value of 
the contents & those contents were a hat. This vast machine con- 
tamed a hat. The mountain labored & brought forth a mouse. 
The rim of this hat is somewhat less than a yard diameter & the 
crown not above two feet & a half high. The Crown is of blue 
tiffiny, or some such stuff with a large bunch of white ribband 
appended & hanging down about two feet; the rim is white silk 
edged with a kind of white velvet, or silk plush, as the mens hats 
used to be. I apprehend, upon the whole, that it is a winter hat & 
will be useless to you now; except to shew how much your Brother 
wished to gratify you. M r Harrison, to whose care your B r com- 
mitted it, & I, have had a consultation about the mode of forward- 
ing it. We are of opinion that if sent by the stage it will be rubbed 
to pieces, & therefore I have determined to send it by the first 
opportunity by sea. By what vessel I shall advise you. There were 
a dozen pair of kid gloves also in the box, which I shall forward by 
M r Harrison. This Gentleman is much in the interest of the hat- 
very tender of it, & duly impressed with the very great importance 
to the fair head in Philadelphia that it shou'd reach its destination 
uninjured. It is in my opinion an absolute fright but what is 
my opinion to the fashon a dear, fascinating word, that renders 
every thing charming. Your Father will be my debtor for the 
charges upon it, & he likes that situation so well, that I dare answer 
for it, he will give himself no trouble to get out of my debt. M r 
Harrison brought also some parcels for your Mother, which he will 
deliver himself in a few days. Write me all that passes in the 
Convention. <v 

Adieu [A.L.] 

Between New York and Philadelphia the hat seems to have 
been in transit three months. It was the subject of anxious in- 
quiries from Nancy, to which her Uncle Arthur replies at last: 



. . . O the hat! it is gone by the Philadelphia packet that comes 
to Mease's wharf. I delivered it with my own hands to the Captain 
praying & beseeching his tender care of it as being more pretious 
than afl the things his vessel had ever carried before. 

Again something happened to delay matters and Uncle Ar- 
thur writes again: 

What a sinner that skipper was for not sailing away quietly with 
his precious charge your hat. When it arrives & arrive it will 
unless (Thetis?) should bribe the skipper to betray his trust & 
deliver it to her 3 I hope it will be announced by a general ringing 
of bells & discharge of artillery & be carried in procession through 
the streets ... & Dr. Rush deliver a lecture on this wondrous 
work of the millener. 

But Nancy, perturbed by the continued delay, must have 
written her uncle another letter which evoked an essay on 
"The Hat": 

That hat that charming hat my dear Nancy, where shall we 
find it. I have searched Ancient & Modern history for it, in vain. 
Certainly, said I, we shall find it among the Ornaments which 
Venus furnished to Juno, when they plotted to enchant poor 
Jupiter a desperate undertaking, since you will own it would be 
easier to blind a dozen lovers than one husband. But Homer, 
among all the charming things he mentions on that occasion, has 
not one so charming as this hat. Whether Helen wore such a hat, 
when she enamoured Paris, & involved not only all Greece & 
Asia, but all the Gods & Goddesses in war; is what I cannot dis- 
cover in any book Ancient or Modern. I next examined, whether it 
was among the ornaments that rendered Lucretia so fatally fair in 
the eyes of young Turquin, & made him hazard his life & crown 
upon a kiss. But I find in that critical moment, the Lady was un- 
dressed. Nor could I trace one glimpse of it among those enchant- 
ing things that enabled Cleopatra to seduce Anthony from the 
empire of the world. After having read 12 volumes of Ancient 
history, with 24 of German commentaries and illustrations in folio, 



I have not been able to determine whether such a hat was among 
the imperial ornaments of Semiramis or of Queen Zenobia, or 
whether that renowned Princess Thalestris wore it, when she 
marched six thousand miles to try whether Alexander was as in- 
vincible in the fields of Venus as of Mars. History says that in 
fifteen days this illustrious Amazon overthrew the renowned war- 
rior, tho in modern times men are supposed to hold out for a 
month. The books of Chronicles and of Kings with the assistance 
of Josephus, would not inform me whether the amorous Queen 
of Sheba, wore this hat, when she came envelopped in spices, to 
hold dalliance with the sapient king. When will our country pro- 
duce such heroines in love? 

You see, my dear Nancy, with what arduous assiduity I have 
labored to trace this hat, because you are anxious about it. After 
all, perhaps Mr HerschelPs forty foot telescope will discover it to 
have become one of the brightest satellites of the Georgium Sidus. 
Oh that we had another Pope to consecrate its transmutation to 
everlasting fame. Then might Nancy's hat outshine Belinda's hair j 
and reign among the most brilliant & beautiful constellations that 
adorn our Poetic sky. 

Do not forget to lay me at Mrs Bingham's feet. Ask her by 
what means she escaped from France after robbing the ladies there 
of all their graces & attractions. It was no petty Larceny; & had 
she been arraigned, she must have been convicted, as the stolen 
goods would have been found upon her. 

Tommy's letters from London bring news of Alice Lee's old 
friend, Anne Home, for whom Nancy was named. Though she 
had been married to Sir John Hunter for many years she could 
still charm, so the impressionable Tommy declares: 

. . . From her appearance you would suppose her 23 or 30 
years of age, & she is graceful, genteel & elegant beyond anything I 
have seen in England. I do not think my mother's friendship & 
attachment for her have made me blind to her real character tho 
I feel that there was a strong preprof essian in her favor from the 
time of my being apprized of the circumstance. If I had not known 



it however I am convinced that I should have admired her ex- 
tremely. I am sure I do no injustice to Mr Hunter in giving M r8 
Hunter the sole credit of the elegant arrangement of everything 
that I saw at the house and I might also say that I had seen noth- 
ing so elegant as the entertainment of this day since I have been 
here. Lord Lansdown forms the only exception Mad was very 
attentive and flattering in her manner of speaking of my dear 
Mamma. She said she made particular enquiry when M rs Arnold 
came here whether she was y* daughter of her friend as she cer- 
tainly should have waited on her as such. 

Lady Hunter was apparently delighted to be reminded once 
more of her girlhood friend and set about dressing a doll for 
Alice Lee's grandchild, Peggy Livingston. Tommy writes of 
having dinner with them: 

. . . Before I take leave of them entirely I must speak of the 
dolly because Mrs. Hunter has become a party concerned. This doll 
then which has been matter of so great expectation, which has so 
often been promised and so long neglected, which is to be ever 
memorable when finished and to unite all the taste and graces of a 
fashionable lady, having been purchased in embryo by your brother, 
is now at the house of Mrs. Hunter, and from all I can learn en- 
gages great part of the attention of the whole family. The hair 
dresser is making for it a wig or chevelure, the whalebone man a 
pair of stays, the milliner a full dress, and the shifts petticoat 
and handkerchief divide the cares of the ladies. In short no pains 
are sparing to send the lady in question complete and perfect into 
the world, where very few can boast as much at going out of it. 
But every picture that is justly drawn has its black as well as its 
fair side, and so must also the picture of the doll. By some ill- 
fated misadventure the toy woman in Bond Street, perceiving 
perhaps that I looked at the beauty of her face more eagerly than 
at that of the toy I was purchasing, gave me O! wicked mischief! a 
face with a crooked mouth. I saw clearly that hers was as it should 
be and not suspecting so fair a face of a deed so foul I paid her at 
hazard for what I had trusted to her generosity. I will not believe 



that she knew of this defect herself. Rather let it be ascribed to 
chance which so often over throws the best designs of mortals, than 
to the wicked machinations of so fair a one. But after all what will 
the doll be the worse because its mouth is on one side. The uglier 
the face the more attention will be paid say I to Mrs. Hunter's 
taste in dressing it 3 but Mrs. Home is afraid that our ladies will 
think it a part of the fashion and will attempt to imitate it, I reply 
to her that if they did, they would fail, their mouths being too 
beautiful to admit of distortion and if they should succeed they 
would make defect perfection. So much and no more of the present 
for my dear little niece except a fear that so fine a lady will de- 
mand an extraordinary portion . . . 

This extraordinary doll reached Peggy before she went back 
to her grandmother in New York, but she liked best her dear 
little dog. 


Not until fall does Nancy write again in her journal. This 
time she is moved by the death of a beautiful young acquaint- 

Here is September the 7* 1787 My poor journal has been neg- 
lected for one year & more. This evening I have been led to 
reflection, by hearing of the untimely death of Miss P. Ross, a 
young & blooming girl of 17 years of age. I sat alone, ruminating 
on my past life, & lamenting the uncertainty of all human hopes, 
when I recollected that I used to pass some evenings agreably, in 
setting down the occurrences of the dayj this reminded me of my 
journal, I took it out of my escrutoire, & how much was I aston- 
ished to find that almost two years has pass'd almost imperceptibly 
away, since I last wrote in it! 

Before the year closes the melancholy event of Eliza Living- 
ston's unexpected death takes place. It is not directly referred 


to in a letter, but from Otto's mention at a later date of a little 
daughter, Eliza, it appears that his young wife died in child- 
birth. Deeply touched over Otto's grief and loss, which are 
also her own, Nancy must have written him a letter of condo- 
lence. His reply expresses a sense of gratitude and a deep af- 
fection that has never been dimmed. Nancy is to him a source 
of comfort and of joy given him by no one else. Yet even in 
his need for her help he realizes that a happy reconciliation 
with her husband would be the best solution for Nancy and for 
her child. 

If anything can surpass the satisfaction I have had in writing to 
you it is the happiness of receiving your answer. I felt the emotions 
of meeting a Friend after a long and tedious absence a Friend 
always indulging, always disposed to comfort and to oblige. I must 
confess that when I first took the pen, different reasons seemed to 
detain me from renewing a correspondence without having re- 
ceived your approbation. This your goodness has now afforded me 
and I have every motive to rejoice at the step I have taken. Your 
flattering Letter convinces me, not that I possess the many good 
qualities, which you are so indulging as to suppose in me, but that 
your partial Friendship has not yet removed the coloured glass, 
which embellishes every object. Your esteem I always wished and 
succeeded to deserve, but the great interest you are pleased to take 
in my fate is more than I expected and must be entirely attributed 
to the Excellence of your heart. of a heart so full of its own sor- 
row, that there seemed to be no room left for those of a Stranger. 
I always reflect with self approbation on the Steps I have taken to 
contribute to your happiness, tho' they were entirely contrary to 
my own interest and tho' they have not been successful. Your 
tranquillity, your duty ... let me not enquire into the motives 
of my conduct, but I have every reason to believe that they were 
just. Even now, if every means is not yet exhausted I should rec- 
ommend new endeavours to effectuate a reconciliation. But doubt- 
less you have done more than could be expected from the most 
enduring temper and I am afraid every remedy has been tried in 



vain. Nothing is left but patience, a long, a [illegible] remedy, 
the last ressource of disappointment. 

As to me, my amiable Friend, I am destracted with a thousand 
thoughts, equally incoherent, equally distressing. Every former 
prospect of happiness being at once vanished, I am wandering 
thro' this World, without knowing where to stop or whether to 
go. I was born for the peaceable enjoyments of domestic Life. The 
most flattering views of fortune can give me no satisfaction, for 
who will partake of them with me? 

Shortly afterwards he writes again: 

... I must confess that I rely more upon you than upon myself. 
I was resolved to set out for Philadelphia & surprise you at your 
fireside ... 

The good judgment of both prevails and prevents a reunion 
that might have had disastrous consequences. Nancy considers 
taking steps for a divorce from Livingston. Otto tells her: 

. . . My old acquaintance with you seems to give me the privilege 
of being candid. I have known you at a time when you hardly en- 
tered the world 5 since that I have seen you but a few days. The 
improvements, which experience, perhaps misfortune, must have 
afforded to a mind like yours have not escaped my observation . . . 
but in reading your letters I still discover greater perfections. 
Perhaps a riper age and a long acquaintance with a Lady whose 
mind had the principal claim to admiration have rendered me more 
attentive to those accomplishments which, contrary to eternal 
beauty, are improved by time . . . 

December 19, 1788 

It is really uncertain how long I shall remain in America, per- 
haps many years, perhaps a few months. . . . 

To see you again, and in the same room where I have passed so 
many agreeable hours, is a satisfaction of which I can form no 
proper idea 5 I know only that I shall feel very embarrassed par- 
ticularly if witnesses are admitted at the first interview 



A continuation of the present tranquillity of your mind and heart 
is the most desirable of all blessings, and I sincerely hope will not 
be interrupted. 

. . . by cherishing & cultivating that Friendship which you have 
permitted me to indulge & which can only cease with my life. 


As the days pass she becomes more and more dear to him 
and his yearning for her more than he can put into words: 

My dearest Friend. . . . 
Yes, my inestimable Friend, you are now dearer to me than ever: 
Your indulgence has placed you in such an amiable light that I am 
some times on the point of running to Philadelphia and thanking 
you verbally. My Eyes, the ton[e] of my voice would probably 
better express my feelings than the cold paper you are now perus- 
ing. Would to God I was near you in this instant, without that 
disgusting wittness whom you mention and whose faded charms 
are now floating on the ocean. To spend one Evening with you 
and to become thoroughly acquainted with our present Ideas, would 
be the most enchanting of all moments. But whilst I am thinking 
of all this the remembrance of my late disappointment at once 
overclouds this pleasing prospect if instead of my correspondent 
Julia I was to find that Julia who has lately received me with so 
much indifference I should be miserable indeed. But no more of 

Once again Louis begins a regular correspondence with 
Nancy. While his letters are sent secretly, as always, there is 
nothing clandestine about them. They are entirely on the basis 
of devoted friendship. 

Your obliging Letter of the 17* instant is a convincing proof, 
my amiable Friend, that my conjectures on that of the 2*, which I 
have not yet answered, were groundless. In the latter I had found 
the following expression: "I beg too as you must write with as 



much ease as propriety not to wait -for returns to all your Letters." 
This I considered as a very polite intimation not to write too often 
and resolved, tho' with great reluctance, to indulge myself only 
once in a Month in this pleasing occupation. I now discover to my 
great satisfaction that I have put a false construction on the mean- 
ing of my charming Correspondent and instead of complaining I 
find myself obliged to implore her forgiveness and to offer her my 
wannest acknowledgements. Can you then really set any value on 
my Letters? Can Julia, who is so good a Judge of English Lit- 
terature, be pleased with my rude and imperfect performances? 
To indulge the feelings of my Heart 5 to follow that impetuosity 
of Fancy and imagination, which I have unfortunately received 
from nature, would be disapproved even by Your Friendship, tho* 
it might amuse an impartial reader. I am constantly checked by the 
apprehension of saying too much or too little too much for you 
to readj too little for my feelings. This naturally introduces in my 
Letters an ambiguity or perhaps a stiffness, of which I am sensible 
without being able to remedy it. I can never forget, and would to 
God you had never forgotten, that you have stiLL in your posses- 
sion some former Letters, written under different circumstances. 
You once promised to return themj they are still yoursj they are 
still wittnesses of those sentiments which you have inspired. By 
keeping them you seemed to approve of, even to cherish their 
contents. Whenever I take the Pen to write to you, some expres- 
sion, which so long an acquaintance seems to justify, but which 
other considerations must render improper, immediately offers and 
notwithstanding my care to remove every sentiment that might 
displease you I have every reason to believe that in my last Letter 
I have not been equally successful. The answer you gave me 
seemed to confirm my apprehensions j particularly as you finished 
it by the unusual expression of having the honor to be most re- 
sfectfally &c. Therefore to write to you, my amiable Friend, is 
not so easy a task as you suppose, tho' it is a very charming one. I 
at once pass over the interesting Scenes of former times, when I 
was the affectionate and, I may say so, the worthy confident of 
your Heart, when the longest Winter Evenings appeared to be 
minutes. Those times are no more, but they have left a deep, an 



everlasting impression, which even the most cruel disappointments 
could not since efface. 

You say nothing of your charming Daughter for whom I really 
feel a tender affection. Do not forget to kiss her in my name. . . . 

To comment on your goodness, my charming Friend, would be 
to repeat, what I have already expressed a thousand times. I 
acknowledge myself under the highest obligations not only for 
having received a supernumerary Letter, but for having received 
any Letter at all 5 this being fully granted and my gratitude for 
ever pledged, permit me to acquaint you with a new kind of ap- 
prehensions, which your kind encouragement has not yet removed. 
If I once admit the propriety of writing to you without being an- 
swered, it is difficult to determine where a concession of this sort 
will stopj you may be pretty well pleased to receive, without 
thinking to return any Letters j probably because you can not con- 
ceive how important they are to me. 

To avoid any difficulty of this nature I have had till now 
strength enough never to write without being answered} I may 
even communicate you a Secret, which Julia must not hear for the 
World. I have burnt several Letters, which were directed to her, 
merely because I thought it impolitic not to insist upon a regular 
exchange. To banish all etiquette is in my opinion most essential 
in Friendship; even in a more tender connection it may be useful 
to live upon a perfect equality. Any pretention to superiority must 
offend the feelings of one and lessen the tenderness of the other. 
This at least has been always my opinion on this subject; and 
when the heart offers the $en> there can be very little difficulty 
about etiquette. I confess, my most indulging Friend, the error I 
committed in reading the Letter which your goodness calls an 
unhappy one but which I can not remember without the greatest 
satisfaction. It gave birth to an explanation which has greatly con- 
tributed to the calmness of my present situation. If it was in my 
power to see you for a few hours, several remaining doubts would 
be perfectly removed. This supreme degree of happiness I antici- 
pate with inexpressible Fondness. To see you again, to read in your 
Eyes that tender concern which you so lively express, to forget 
for a moment that seven years have wrought an inavoidable separa- 



tion, to talk over a thousand innocent Scenes, which could only 
interest us Oh! and let Julia be present, let her know how 
much I love, esteem and respect her, that I never ceased to take 
the warmest interest in her Fate and that, if it had depended upon 
me, she would have been perfectly happy. All this I shall tell her 
with the sincerity of a heart, which has been always devoted to her. 
But will it not be imprudent to indulge sensations which seem to be 
no more calculated for her than for me? Advise me, my dearest 
Friend} your opinion shall be a Law for me. If you think it better 
not to see her not to see her! forgive, I believe I should not 
follow your advise. 

The information you give of your charming little Daughter 
is extreemely interesting. Never you [mutilated] can say too much 
of her. May she be blessed with the temper of her Mother^ talents 
are pleasing, Wit is entertaining, but in the heart she must find the 
source of her happiness. Will you be so kind as to kiss her in my 
name, tho' I might probably not have that privilege myself. Your 
delegated powers in this particular will exceed my own. Adieu, 
my amiable Philosopher, I feel better every time I receive your 
soft remonstrances. Would you refuse to devote a few moments to 
the instruction and improvement of 

Your most affectionate Friend M 


Meanwhile Madam Livingston again enlists Arthur Lee's 
aid in escorting Peggy to her mother in order to prevent the 
child's father from taking her by force. 

My Dear Madam 

By M r Lee's obliging attention you will I hope be made happy 
in receiving our Dear Child to your maternal arms. May she 
answer all your expectations and prove your comfort and Joy. I 
fear she will be rather a trouble to her uncle on her Journey as she 
is not fond of long rides but she has promised me that he will tell 
you she has been a good Girl. I am sure she ought to love him. 
May she never hereafter when she thinks she does not need his 
attentions receive any intimation from him with contempt, or re- 
turn his affection with disrespect in no one instance. Let me intreat 



that you will upon every occasion attend to her Mind, to inculcate 
the fear and Love of God as the first Step to insure her principals 
to shew her the necessity and Beauty of practising Virtue truth 
benevolence and delicacy so as these may be the Governing prin- 
cipals of all her actions and never my dear Madam suffer her to 
violate the truth by prevarication or deception of any kind, except 
in only one Instance. You will easily Guess I mean when it 
comes in competition with delicacy & there it must not be taken in 
too great a latitude. 

These are the steps in which I have led my Girls and I thank 
God I have succeeded. I remember the education of my three 
youngest best altho I think I may say it of 3 sons also that I have 
never known them to deviate from the truth in any one instance 
or ever had occasion to give them a Blow. I do not think that whip- 
ping upon every occasion can be of service unless you have to deal 
with children of vicious dispositions. There indeed it becomes neces- 
sary. You will pardon what I have written and Impute it to my 
anxiety for my childs Temporal and Eternal happyness. 

I received your pamphlet upon Education (which M r Lee 
franked and directed for which I am obliged to him) at dinner, 
surrounded by 17 or 18 people. It was handed about and at last 
the Chancellor took it. ... 

With respect to your confidential Questions in your Last. Would 
to Heaven that I could give you such an answer as would give you 
pleasure or me comfort, but both are impossible. I am a Mother 
and every misconduct every Sin and Immorality recoils upon my 
heart and makes it Vibrate with ten fold force. I cannot tell you 
all I hear for I have seen him only three times in about a year. 
He never comes here nor I at his house in which I have not been 
near three years. He has seen his Daughter only once and that by 
accident at M r Tillotsons. His behaviour was so cool to her that I 
felt the utmost pain. It has convinced me that she must not be 
often with [illegible] her Father and she shall not. I have not 
let him know of her going as I had thought to do, as I have 
been advised if she had come to her aunt (for at his house she 
shall go) that he would have taken her home. . . . 

Believe me to be sincerely yours, 
262 M Livingston 


It does not appear precisely at what time an agreement was 
made between Nancy and her mother-in-law, Mrs. Livingston, 
to have Peggy spend a part of her time with her mother in 
Philadelphia, but that it was made is clearly stated by Arthur 
Lee, and this fragment of a letter from him was written in the 
early spring of 1788: 

There can hardly be a doubt as to the propriety of your plan, 
but how the old Lady will receive it I cannot say. I am rather 
afraid not favorably. Poor little Peggy it should be flattering to 
her to know what a contention there is for her company. 

It is evident that Peggy was in Philadelphia a few weeks 

later for Arthur Lee asks: . . 

May 1788 

How fares it with our little Peggy? Does she continue to be a 
good girl & improve in her reading, music, friends & dancing? If 
she does, kiss her & thank her for me. . . . 

But shortly afterwards, Arthur Lee is urging upon Nancy 
the justice of Mrs. Livingston's urgent request that the child 
should come back to her: 

I enclose you, my dear Nancy, a letter from M rs Livingston, 
which came to me yesterday in one from her, in which she most 
earnestly entreats me to second her sollicitation for little Peggy, 
being sent to her by Col. Lewis. It is a delicate matter for me to 
interfere in, & I am sensible it must be a great affliction to you to 
part with such a little darling. But all things considered it seems to 
me to be your duty to send her back. I presume it was a condition 
of her grand Mama's sending her to you, that she shou'd return, & 
in detaining her you wou'd commit a breach of honor in that en- 
gagem* Considering how much the dear Girl depends on her Grand 
Mama, how much her heart is set upon the Child & how grievous 
it wou'd be for her to be deprived of her entirely for the time she 
has yet to live, it seems to be an ill-judged fondness that wou'd 
sever them entirely. Her grandmama's good sense, the proofs she 



has given, in the young Ladies her daughters may satisfy you that 
you risque nothing essential to good morals & good behaviour, the 
most substantial parts of Education, by the Child's being with her. 
I own that Philadelphia furnishes, with your attentions, more 
means of rendering her accomplished in female graces. But I wou'd 
submit to your reason, whether it is not sacrificing too much to the 
Graces, to deprive her of the patronage of such a Grandmother. 
I understood it was the plan agreed on that Peggy should be 
with you & her Grandmama by turns. This appears to be the only 
modification that can satisfy the fondness of each. In the substantial 
parts of Education you will co-operate & the finer & more orna- 
mental ones you will easily graft upon them. Let me hope then 
that you will shew yourself superior to the gratification of your 
own feelings which wou'd be attended with so much danger to the 
essential interests of your Child. A ,. 

Adieu A. Lee 

Nancy consents to Peggy's return to her grandmother for 
the summer months. Madam Livingston is so pleased with the 
child's improvement that she makes a more definite proposal 
that Nancy have the little girl every winter under her guidance 
and instruction. 

. . . Your sweet child's improvement has kept pace with her 
groth. She has given great credit to her fair instructor and re- 
turned to me as accomplished as one of her age is capable of being. 
Indeed we are all delighted with the dawnings of reason and re- 
flection which she constantly discovers. The other evening sitting 
in my arms & looking at the River in pensive thought she asked 
Had God a beginning, Who was his father, "Grandma, if I fall in 
the river will I be drowned, What will become of my body if my 
soul goes to heaven?" . . . Your town is now I suppose the gayest 
of all the States as all the wise men of the west are now met 
together. May God give them wisdom and direction for the good 
of the whole. . . . 

Later in the summer The Old Lady again wrote of Peggy: 


. . . She continues a sweet Child & often speaks of you Poor 
N. Y. is quite deserted & all the gay world are in your Town. 
Your uncle I hear is also with you. That I am sure will be an addi- 
tion to your happiness. Time will shew wether the report of his 
courting a young and Beautiful Lady at N. York is true. The 
Chancellor assured me when he was in town it was the prevailing 
report and as a proof he said her family by some thing which 
dropped believed that there was truth in the report and by another 
Gent n I heard the Ladys sentiments upon the occasion I shall not 
anticipate he may over come difficulty and I may congratulate you 
upon the occasion. Miss Maria is certainly very pretty. I suppose 
you dont know her. My son John who is fond of rising Beauty was 
much in her praise last winter but would much rather see her M r 
L[ee]s wife than his sister, to which he is amazingly averse from 
no other motive than the desparity of ages, but this is only between 
us. ... The Chancellor lives just at my door but alass these my 
expectations are in part defeated. M r Hindman was in treaty for a 
fine farm also near me, but he writes from Santa Cruz that the 
Doctors have ordered him to the South of france and I have no 
hope he will ever recover. Just now I hear a neighbour who lives 
but 2 miles off upon the most elegant Situation the Hudson affords 
offer to sell his farm which is an Excellent one for 600 at easy 
payments. How happy should I esteem myself to have another 
settled there. But why do I trouble you with these things. But the 
account I had heard laid in my head about this place. 

I have not mentioned our Childs going to you next winter [il- 
legible] to her father, you know his temper and I must say nothing 
about it till the time comes. God who has all hearts in his hand will 
I hope change his. I shall conclude this with the words of my dear 
[illegible] Last Letter Oh that Heaven may bless us with con- 
tented minds & Submissive hearts to its divine will May we in- 
deed. Present my Compliments to M r Lee and tell him I have 
Received a Letter with one Inclosed from M rs Washington & that 
I thank him for his care. Y r Sweet girl says she loves her Ma and 
sends her duty. 

I am My Dear Madam v . t 

J Yours Sincerely M T 



Upon reviving [reviewing] I find I ought not to have men- 
tioned what the C[hancellor] told me as it may be the cause of 
displeasure or pain should my Friend hear it, neither of which 
heaven knows I would be the cause of in him without bearing my 
full share of pain. From the knowledge I have of his Sentiments 
I think him incapable of any thing but strict honor and truth 
but it has been his ill fate that whenever his prospects were bright- 
ning to have Reports of the like nature in addition to other dis- 
agreeable tales, cast in his way which has given a handle to those 
who were opposed to his views to call him faithfulness in Ques- 
tion thereby weakning her confidence and raining fears for fu- 
turity. Tell him my best Blessings if he will accept of it shall 
attend him in their fullest extent, I need not tell you my dear 
Madam that this is a confidential Letter. 



JJ.AVING exhausted all other means of adjusting the profound 
differences between herself and her husband, Nancy at last de- 
cided to sue for divorce. In the early summer she appealed for 
advice to her Uncle Arthur Lee, himself a lawyer. In reply he 

wrote: T i +T, 

July ii* 1789 

My dear Nancy, your undated letter reached me yesterday. It 
is, in more respects than this, precisely the letter of a fine Lady. 
It talks of a Divorce with as much nonchalance as of a discarded 
Lover. At the advice of all your friends good both here & at 
Philad* your humble Servant being out of the question better 
still now for execution. Do enquire which of the Lawyers in N. Y. 
is most learned & successful in obtaining divorces I suppose you 
mean & I cannot find one who has had any success that way. There 
is one who married an old woman being himself very young & 
he I think must be the most learned Another married a Lady with 
fifty thousand pounds, & he I conceive must be deemed the most 
successful. To these therefore I would recommend you. Their 
names are Burr & King, than whom I imagine you will find none 
here, more fit to do justice to a fair Lady's desires. But if you are 
serious which is rather too much to expect my opinion is that 
y* Father should come here & instruct those Gentlemen in every 
thing necessary to conduct the business. If it be necessary to apply 
to the Legislature here; it is now sitting, & no time is to be lost. 
It must be obvious to your reflection, that no one, but your Father 
while he is living can with propriety, or even decency, inter- 
pose in an affair which so immediately concerns the honor & in- 
terests of his daughter. ... r A . T , 
& [Arthur Lee] 



Her uncle's facetious attitude in face of the grave crisis be- 
fore Nancy, and his vague impractical advice must have 
brought great discouragement to hen Not one member of her 
family, not one friend saw that the prolonged torture of 
thwarted love, the endless complications then attending a young 
wife's suit for divorce from a wealthy and prominent man, the 
relentless persecution and ugly, malicious intrigue of her hus- 
band, the suspense over her dear child not one seemed to 
realize that all of this was having its grave effect on Nancy! 
She was so young, so pretty, so fond of gaiety! The prevailing 
opinion seems to have been that when she appeared depressed 
she was merely "in y* dumps" and could be consoled with a 
tea party, a new hat, a dance . . . Later however both her 
mother and father seem to have thought it advisable to side 
definitely with her husband. Livingston is undoubtedly exag- 
gerating when he writes his brother Edward Livingston of 
this defense: 

I have certainly a Right to know this Woman better than any 
other person her Father writes to me he has the fullest confidence 
in me and commands his Daughter in my presence on her duty to 
deliver me my Child. . . . 

But their attitude towards Nancy comes to the attention of 
Madam Livingston in New York, for she thinks of herself as 
Nancy's only defender: 

At length my prayers are heard. God hath oppened the hearts 
of strangers to espouse the cause and interests of my poor dear 
orphan child, who has been hunted like wild Beast of prey. 
How singular is her fate, an unnatural Father combined with 
her Grand parent to exclude her from the common ties of hos- 
pitality, even a shelter under their Roof. I dare say no more 
to you altho their conduct is reprobated by every Body for their 



sordid interestedness. But with respect to yourself perhaps I 
have said too much. You as their Daughter must overlook what- 
ever is disagreable. You must forget, and by every means in your 
power strive to conciliate their affections, which on your mothers 
part appears to be very sensibly weakned, I fear with her infirmi- 
ties. She has by all accounts been severely exercised, and her mind 
may not have recovered its enervetic powers. It will be in your 
power to sooth and comfort her when this storm is blown over. 

. . . This will be handed to you by my friend the Baron La 
Rock a gentleman worthy of the esteem of all who have the honor 
of his acquaintance. His Lady is a person of Letters well acquainted 
as I am Informed with the Belles Letters, they possess great op- 
pulence. He declines his title. His family is a noble one in Ger- 
many. He was so obliging as to offer to take our Child under his 
paternal wing in his own carriage. But upon my having yours of 
the 3 March handed to me yesterday by Miss Marshal the first I 
had in many weeks past. Just now I have another. I think with 
you that she must not be removed to me as yet. The Bill must be 
passed before any steps of that nature can take place. I hope you 
will give me the earliest account that the Bill is passed. Till then 
nothing can be said upon the subject, but that I feel an heart over- 
flowing with gratitude for those worthy characters who have in- 
terested themselves in supporting oppressed Inocence. I cannot 
congratulate you as yet. Well do I know that in so large an as- 
sembly of different characters some Rubbs may be expected & per- 
haps his Lawyers may be active against the passing such a Bill 
and throw in every obstruction. However we will hope the best. 
I can add no more than to assure you of my Respect and that I 

am yours n- - 


*' ML 

Remember me in the most affectionate 
Manner to my dear child. 

Meanwhile Colonel Livingston is taking despicable meas- 
ures to ruin his wife's reputation, 1 blast Otto's career and injure 
his child. His mother writes Nancy: 
1 See Supplementary Records (6). 



My dear Mad m 

At length he [Livingston] is returned but not to stay. He says 
he will commence Suits against M rs Cox & Miss Bradford May 
heavens best Blessings rest upon them it is the cause of heaven to 
be the orphan's friend and God will Bless such benevolent hearts. 
They have my Sincere thanks ... he desired the Chancellor to 
intercede with me to give him an order to receive the Child from 
you that he absolutely refused to do saying the child ought to be 
with you & that you may be assured I shall never give. I have a 
letter from your Father stating your appearance at the Judges 
chambers and says if you had produced the Child it would have 
terminated agreably to his wish and mine. How could that be see- 
ing his wish & mine are quite different. Had you produced her 
what security had you y* [that] she would not have been torn 
from you. This I have written. I fear he will be displeased, while 
every body admires your firmness, prudence & maternal affection 
and applauds your conduct. This I have also written. I sent you 
some days past a letter by a person to whom I gave my sentiments 
to delive[r] to you verbaly and inclosed 40 doll rs to indemnify 
you for the expense you have been at. 

Your Father says it is the Gen 1 opinion and his the Coll 9 , 
[Colonel] that I take the child again. This my friend is impossible. 
Were I to take her tomorrow he would take her from me the next 
day till I give up her Estate to him. When that is accomplished 
I suppose he will never care a straw where she is in the mean- 
time at my age, being near 69 years, what stability can be expected 
unless y* he can command the income of that part of the Estate 
after my death he may again desire to have hen I am not fit now 
at this period, to encounter the salleys of his turbulent temper. I 
must have peace. Y r father says y* his conduct has been proper & 
it may be so. He can be a prosiour when he has a point to carry. 
He says he knows not what to do both you and Peggy are out of 
the state. Do not be Secure. Remember who are his friends unless 
my Letter in which I have stated the whole of the Coll 9 [Colonel 
Livingston] Views makes an alteration. My heart is pained for 
you; when will your troubles end. He has he says proof of your 
Infidelity before marriage & after this if I am rightly informed 



(for him I have not seen) He says he will publish M r O is named 
&c &c and he says he will Publish the treatment he has received 
from his own family. I think that neither will be attempted. I trust 
that your Reputation is out of his reach. Oh what a malignant 
heart has he, unhappy man, got. Keep up your Spirits. Pray to 
God to give you grace and strength for the heavy trials you meet 
with. Oh may all be sanctifyed to your Soul. Perhaps you may 
have reason to Rejoyce for those trials in time and Eternity. I in- 
sist and so do all the family that Peggy shall be left under your 
care. That he will not hear of, and then he calls you by hard 
names. Do not sink under your afflictions. I think if he cant find 
her he will give up the persuit. Say nothing about what he intends 
to publish. I have written 5 pages to your father and now my 
pen is bad and hand tired, I will only add that I inclosed two 
Letters to M r Benson our member in Congress directed to you & 
desired him to give them to M rs T. Cox himself. Have you re- 
ceived them from M rs Cox. If you have not he must have sent 
them to your fathers. God Bless and preserve you and your Dear 
Child is the pray r of 

My Dear Mad m 

Your Sympathizing friend 

5 Decem r 
Date your Letters & direct to M r Peter Schermerhorne 

Louis Otto, acutely aware of the depth of Nancy's devotion 
for her child, had made every possible endeavor to bring about 
a reconciliation between Nancy and Colonel Livingston. Now 
that it appeared impossible even in the eyes of Colonel Liv- 
ingston's mother, one of whose letters Nancy had evidently sent 
Otto, he wrote her sympathetically: 

March 20 th 1789. 

... I am at a loss, how to advise you. Even the enclosed letter 
does not inform me sufficiently of your situation, unless it means 
that you are to be separated entirely from the ennemy of your tran- 
quillity. This indeed might be considered as a very happy drcum- 



stance if it did not at the same time deprive you of your Child. 
His determination however seems to imply some tender sentiments 
in favor of his offspring, it may render him less odious in the Eyes 
of the World and even in yours. His right seems to me unques- 
tionable unless the Laws of your State have particularly provided 
for this case. If any thing can rander your situation tollerable, it 
is the enclosed Letter. To inspire such compassionate sentiments, 
such regard and esteem to his nearest rektions, this supposes the 
most unexceptionable conduct on your side and the most laudable 
impartiality on the other. I am sorry to say I am unable to advise 
you; I have been unsuccessful in my former attempts to promote a 
reconciliation and I am not sufficiently informed of all the circum- 
stances to give my opinion on this delicate subject. Your rektions 
will be the best Judges of the propriety of your steps in this re- 
spect. The passage in the enclosed Letter concerning his proceed- 
ings with you I do not understand and if you think me worthy 
of your entire confidence I shall perhaps be able to give you some 

Your affectionate Friend *. 

That Chancellor Livingston cannot aid Nancy under the 
New York laws, appears from Madam Livingston's next letter 
to Nancy, but she gives encouraging news of the interest and 
the promised aid from friends outside the family: 

... I find you are misinf orm'd with respect to the Chancellors 
power. The Laws of this state confine or limit his power only to 
orphans. Could this have been done it would have been carried 
into effect long agoe. I have not yet seen M r Howel since the 
first time he was here. I fear he is gone and I do not even know 
where to direct this so as you may get it. The Baron told me he 
had been in company with some Ladies who greatly espoused the 
cause of our poor Inocent. I forbear to mention their names in 
case of accident but he assured [me] that their conduct merits 
the highest praise not only from an heart that feels Gratitude Love 
and Esteem, but from people of the highest honor in this pkce. 
I hope it will not be long before their very friendly cares for my 



dear girls safety will end, as I expect an answere every day. My 
heart felt the distressing Situation in which you are at present. I 
hope the day is not far off when the dreadful fear of incurring 
expence may be dissapated and your Mother be releved from such 
tormenting horrors upon that account as to banish into obscurity a 
sweet child who it ought to have been her pride and Boast to 
have defended from a father whose only wish it is to see without 
a shilling of property. This mans word is the pretext, if that which 
she well knows is not to be depended upon. The covering is too 
thin to deceive the world. If Peggy is removed without an Idea 
of her ever returning you then will have peace. . , . 

By this time Arthur Lee has been startled into concern over 
Nancy's difficulties, again refers her to the lawyers Aaron Burr 
and Jared Ingersoll and writes her frequently: 

... I feel most strongly for your situation. I would apply to 
the Attorney Genl & Mr. Ingersol for advice and be governed by 
them. I can hardly think [Livingston] will venture to solicit legal 
compulsion, without which I would not suffer him to have her, 
[Peggy]. What a world we live in! How truly does every day's 
experience justify Young's satyre that man is to man the surest, 
the severest ill. ... 

On March 2ist he again writes Nancy: 

I received your favor, My dear Nancy, when at the board of 
Treasury & near the time of the post going and I therefore could 
only write a few lines j & your fair friend will forgive me if most 
of them were devoted to you & your poor little Peggy. I repeat 
to you my opinion that nothing but the power of the Law should 
tear her from you, & that upon all circumstances being stated the 
Law will defend not destroy her. Try to interest the Ladies 
particularly Mrs MaKean & Mrs Judge Shippen. It is the cause 
of humanity & in that cause the female voice is irresistible. I do 
not know any man at your bar, so eloquent as the Attorney gen- 
eral. He will do the cause justice, & supported by the general 
voice, I am persuaded none but a Butcher of a Judge, who has 


never had, or wish'd to have a parent's feelings will venture to 
decide against humanity & you. . . . 

Madam Livingston sends this warning note: 

You will have a Round of amusement in your Gay Metropolis. 
The Single and ungaurdined Ladys must now be more prudent 
than ever. Calumny with her thousand tongues can only be es- 
caped by the wary and wise. By them no male Visitants will be 
permitted to extend their Visit beyond the hour limited by pro- 
priety in its strictest sense, especially if the Lady be alone. Forgive 
those observations which proceed from a View of the Many Tem- 
tations to which the young and ungarded are exposed and my 
Sincere wish that you may continue to Steer clear of the Rocks & 
unseen dangers attending a Contrary Course. . . . 

About the same time Louis Otto's next note shows genuine 
alarm at the scandal Livingston is spreading: 

. . . The world you know is a little too malignant I have a 
fresh proof of it They talk rather a little freely of you and a 
certain future Minister to the European courts let this hint speak 
the rest. Prudence is requisite & apearances I think ought to be 
consulted. . . . 

Standing a target for every poisoned shaft directed by her 
husband toward her and Louis Otto, Nancy hears a disquieting 
rumour of the French Diplomat's intention to marry again. 
She must have written him about it for he replies: 

February 4th, 1789 

It is impossible, my charming Friend, that you should believe 
the strange report, which you mention in your last Letter; it sur- 
prised me the more as I can not conceive upon what it is founded. 
I had every reason to hope that the retirement I live in would 
not permit the public to think of me, but even in this, my Friend, 
I have been mistaken. In my present situation the report is very 
malicious and must have injured me in your opinion. Believe me 
that if ever I am able to take a similar step, you shall be the 



first informed of it But really, you could not believe it, you 
could not think Your Friend weak and inconsistent enough to 
forget in so short a time, what he owes to you, to himself, to 
the world. Sometimes indeed strange combinations occupy my 
mind, I am pleased to indulge dreams which can never be real- 
ised, I wish to go to Philadelphia and soon after I think it better 
not to go. I am endeavouring to persuade myself that I ought to 
remain where I am, tho j my wishes are constantly at a distance; all 
this has no connection with the report you mention; no, believe 
me, my situation can not change unless you and You only are 
acquainted with it. You may now discover the cause of my delais, 
it is of the greatest importance and you will excuse my irresolu- 
tion. Your Letter will render me still more cautious in the choice 
of my acquaintances and I flatter myself that you will be no more 
troubled with reports on my account, tho' I really do not know 
who is the amiable f&rson you speak of. Let this positive assur- 
ance, my dear Friend, be sufficient and if you wish to fwrtake of 
my joy let us wait till I shall see you, for only then I shall be 

I am so good natured that I believe every flattering word you 
tell me, therefore do not write more than you feel. Your affec- 
tionate Friendship is now my only ressource and if I could think 
that you deceive me I should be miserable. You have too much 
delicacy not to approve the cause of my jealousy , tho' the word 
may appear strange when applied to your Father and me. But there 
is undoubtedly in Friendship such a feeling as jealousy; it seems 
to be as nearly allied to it as to Love. We wish to occupy the first 
place in the bosom of our Friend and to have more than one 
Friend, in the most refined signification of this Word, is impos- 
sible. We give our whole affection for an equal return. Perhaps my 
ideas on this subject are overstrained; perhaps I am mistaken in the 
nature of my own sentiments, but let this be a mistery [for] you 
and me. To scrutinize our sensations too minutely may only weaken 
their energy. Let me [hope] to receive at least every fortnight a 
Letter from you. I am now so used to this charming correspond- 
ence that I expect with anxiety every new testimony of your re- 
membrance. Do not answer the obscure parts of my Letters, I 


know all you can say on that subject, but I am pleased with my 
delusion. As most of our pleasures consist in imagination, to de- 
prive me of these would be cruel. I am for ever 

Your sincere Friend, 

The next letter, February 25, 1789, again reassures her: 

Your charming apology, my valuable Friend, would be useless if 
it did not give me a new proof of the delicacy of your sentiments. 
I am sorry the mistake you mention should have given you the 
least uneasiness, tho' I really think that if the report had been 
true my conduct must have appeared to you very inconsistent. To 
say the truth I have the greatest obligation to M r de Chaumont, 
because he has given me an opportunity to know something more 
of Julia than I formerly did. I shall not tell what that some- 
thing is, but I really believe I know it. To find out the senti- 
ments of a Lady has been considered by Philosophers as the most 
difficult task still I have so much presumption as to think that I 
have discovered them. My secret shall remain with me untill you 
guess it, if you take so much trouble, if not I shall perhaps tell it 
unasked but only to you. Indeed, my dear Friend, you could not 
believe that I was offended. The Lady you mention is my next 
neighbour 5 she lives in a family, who is intimately connected with 
mej it is natural therefore that I should see her very often and 
as she is fond of retirement, it is natural likewise that I should find 
her often at home. My former conduct has given me perhaps un- 
deservedly the reputation of a good sort of a husband and as people 
are very busy in contrieving matches they have considered me as 
a very good subject. The fact is that if I could ever think of chang- 
ing my present situation I should be at a loss how to accommodate 
my humour. I have been treated with so much indulgence by an ex- 
cellent Woman, whom I shall for ever regret, that I can not now 
be easily pleased. Implicit submission, a word, which is not to be 
found in the polite catechism of matrimony, is the very first thing I 
should expect and probably not meet with. Tho' I am at present 
not happy I can not say that I am positively unhappy. I am in 
* negative state, neither sick nor well, those moments excepted 



when I receive a few lines from Julia. Believe me, my good Friend, 
your Letters are the only enjoyment I can now boast of 3 they 
convince me that I am not quite alone in the world and that you 
take some interest in my situation. If you have well understood 
my last Letter you will have no farther doubts about my future 
determinations and when I shall be so happy as to see you they 
will be entirely removed. 

My little Eliza, for whom you seem to feel some affection is 
perfectly well and in all respects a promising Child. I see her sel- 
dom because she lives in the Country and after the disappointment 
I met with I am really apprehensive of attaching myself too much, 
lest a second stroke may deprive me of all the comforts of Life. 

Receive my tender wishes for your health and happiness and for 
the success of the excellent education you bestow on your Daughter. 

I am yours forever 

"The Lady you mention" of the above letter, was doubtless 
Mademoiselle Fanny de Crevecceur, daughter of the French 
consul to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the Cheva- 
lier St. John de Crevecoeur. 

Although they are in the midst of a storm that is breaking 
their hearts and lives, Nancy and Madam Livingston place the 
subject of Peggy's care and education before all other consid- 
erations. Peggy is now visiting her mother, and Madam Liv- 
higston writes: [Dec ^ ^ 

... I am very sorry my dear has not yet been put to school as I 
wished the money she had given her to have been applied to that 
purpose. ... Oh why cant I have her with me during the re- 
mainder of my life, but at present that is impossible. Tell her I am 
much obliged and pleased with her Little present. They are very 
prettily made. I hope she will Improve daily and I have the pleas- 
ure to observe both by her Letter and her uncles postscrip that she 



is a charming girl. But one thing I must Intreat you to guard her 
against. I mean an artful behaviour of any description. I cannot 
f orgit a Circumstance at which you Laughed not having considered 
y e matter in the same light as I do. I mean her telling you that 
nobody saw her take the cake which she had in her pocket. My 
dear M rs Livingston these are very serious things. They are only 
Trifles of which children can be guilty but an artful disguise opens 
the Door to want of principal which you know is ruin in the full- 
est extent of the word. I do not appologize as I am actuated by 
Love and Duty in the advice I give. The greatest external accom- 
plishments can be no counter-ballance to art and deception of any 
kind. Watch over her heart, her morals. Implant the fear and 
Love of God in her tender docile mind. So shall her happiness 
and your comfort be insured. 

Be pleased to accept in good part what I have written. I have 
now relieved my mind, as I hope you will be a mother indeed. 
Present me to all with you as all here wish to be to you. 

I am my dear Mad m 

Yours Sincerely 
Deer. 5, 1789. M. Livingston 

On another occasion she writes: 

... I am Sorry you and I differ so widely upon Education. I 
think Schools properly regulated, open the Mind to emulation. A 
desire to excell in the different Branches in which the children are 
Imployed raises a kudable Ambition. It opens the Mind to friend- 
ship and affection, to their Little companions by teaching conde- 
sention & polite attention and often lays the foundation of friend- 
ships which are lasting as Life. These and many other advantages 
I could name which would never interfere with a Mothers pre- 
cepts and regulations at home, but as you are upon the spot, and 
can better judge what effect a school has upon her mind, wether 
it will prove advantagious or not to one of her disposission, I must 
Leave intirely to your care. God I hope will preside over her Edu- 
cation and lead you into that way, which shall be most for his 
Glory and the Dear childs good. . . . 



Again she writes: 

I am favored with your and Peggys Letter. I am happy that 
you take so much pains and attention in our dear Girls Education. 
She has many Advantages [under] your care, and the many young 
Ladies in the neighbourhood are certainly great advantages which 
I hope her good sense will enable her to Improve to the best uses. 
God knows how long she will be permitted to have them. He 
[Livingston] is quit[e] outrageous. He wrote me such a Letter 
the day I was at M r Tillotsons a few hours after the Burial of 
Caroline as I believe never son wrote, for I have not seen him 
Since the day after Peggys departure to you. He will sue me and 
present me to the grand- Jury of Columbia county &c. &c. I be- 
lieve as soon as his finances mil admit of it that he will make an- 
other Expedition your way. Therefore it would be proper to have 
some one in Phil* to give you notice and provide an assistance for 
the child in case he should come. 

When the time approaches for Peggy to return to her grand- 
mother, Nancy journeys with the child to New York and sends 
her secretly to Clermont. Every move has to be watched! 

On this trip to New York she sees Louis Otto for a few mo- 
ments. Their meeting is a strained and disappointing experi- 
ence to them both. Otto writes: 

Nothing my amiable Friend, can be more embarrassing than the 
manner in which I was obliged to behave during your stay in 
town. So much reserve seems to be incompatible with Friendship 
and if I was not acquainted with the motive of your sudden de- 
parture, I should have attributed it to a change in your sentiments 
notwithstanding the repeated assurances you have formerly given 
me of your lasting attachment. No! the Julia, whose letters I can 
not peruse too often is not the same to whom I spoke and if those 
letters are the deceiving images of a dream, let them continue to 
make me happy without ever informing me that I am mistaken. 
At least, my dearest Friend, I have seen you, I have conversed 
with your charming little daughter, I have recalled to my remem- 



brance the delightful moments of former times. Perhaps you are 
dissatisfied^ perhaps you think I was wrong in leaving your last 
letter so long unanswered? I have verbally explained the cause 
of my apparent neglect. For several weeks I expected you in town 
every moment and being apprehensive my answer might fall into 
other hands I would not expose it. This my good Julia is the true 
cause of my silence 5 it is pardonable because it was involuntary. 
But whatever may be my crime I am certain that Julia was not the 
same and that probably I shall find her again in her letters: prob- 
ably? no there is no doubt, she can not change, she bestows her 
affection with too much caution to withdraw it ever. Will you kiss 
your dear little daughter in my name} I am quite in love with 
her. She seems to have all the sweetness of her Mother and in 
every respect she belongs to you and not to the cruel man who at- 
tempts to tear her from your bosom. 

Adieu, may you be half as happy as I wish and as you deserve. 


In another few weeks the discordant note seems to have 
vanished. Their relationship is again harmonious, excepting for 
a hint between the lines in Otto's letter of August I5th. What 
is it that he "cannot commit to the paper"? 

How can I sufficiently acknowledge your great condecension in 
writing to me, when my jealous disposition hardly deserved your 
notice. It is very true, my charming Friend, I was disappointed 
in your behaviour to me and I was foolish enough to attribute it, 
not to the very obvious cause you mention, but to some dissatis- 
faction or even to (forgive it Julia) to caprice. You will judge 
from the enclosed Letter that I wanted very much to write, but 
even this Letter I defered to send untill I knew the true motives 
of your conduct. Still I am very much in your debt for this last 
proof of your sincerity and indulgence. I am proud to confess that 
I have not deserved either. But to confer even unmerited favours 
is the work of superior beings and that Julia surpasses all others 
in magnanimity is too well known to her Friend. If you know the 
tenderness of my feelings, you will easily judge how much I suf- 



/ . 









.^ A 




feredj how often I wished to break a silence which began to be 
intolerable. Strange indeed were my suspicions} I thought that 
during a long absence from your Friend your imagination had 
framed exagerated ideas of his amability, that in seeing him you 
were disappointed and treated him afterwards with that indiffer- 
ence, which a disappointment of this land must create. In short I 
was so unhappy as to believe that you had withdrawn all your af- 
fection and that I should forever deplore your arrival in this town. 
Your Letter has entirely cured me and I am more impatient than 
ever to see whether you are less ceremonious at home than you 
have been here. Yes, my good Friend, I hope to visit you in about 
a fortnight and to assure you that nothing in the World can alter 
an attachment, which time has so fully confirmed. It is now ten 
years since I first saw you; many drcumstances have strengthened 
a prejudice which I then conceived in your favour and I never 
hear from you without feeling the warmest emotions of tender- 
ness. I think I have a great deal to say to you, which I can not 
committ to the paper; but let us not be disappointed a second timej 
let us be mutually convinced of our sincerity and take hold of the 
first opportunity for a complete explanation. A thousand kisses to 
your lovely Daughter. She is a most charming little treasure; I 
am no more surprised of your uncommon affection for her. But I 
hope she will leave something for the share of 

Your very tender Friend 


Peggy's letters bring happiness to Nancy while the struggle 
with Livingston goes on. The child writes from Clermont, first 
to her mother, and then to her grandmother Shippen: 

My Dear Mamma 

Are you still in Germantown, You see I do as you desired. I 
send you the english of the french sentence you write to me to 
translate, viz "I hope you enjoy perfect health" Please to send 
me my little dog, if there is an opportunity, instead of my Doll 
I received your letter with the knife & watch as you desired me 
to let you know. I am desirous of hearing how my dear Grand- 
mamma, & Grandpapa do. 



Did you receive my letter by Miss M c Evens. I am dying to see 
you. You cannot think how very pretty the country looks here. 
My Aunt Kitty sends her love to you. I have got rid of my cold. 
What do you think, aunt Tillotson has got a little boy. He is not 
christened yet. If you did but know the love I feel for you. Adieu 

Yours, affectionately. 
M. B. L. 
My dear Mama The paper was daub'd by accident. 

My dear Grandmamma, 

I have delayed too long to write to you, overlook that fault I 
pray you$ & I will endevour to make up for it by writing often. I 
have got so many letters to write I hardly know which to write 
first. I long to see you. How do you do. Write me another letter 
if you please, & tell me every thing about you & the family. I 
thank you for your good advice & hope you pray to God to enable 
me to follow it. I read the chapters you mention in proverbs often 
but I have not yet learned them. How does Grandpapa & Uncle 
Thomas do. I must write a letter to them soon. My Grandmamma 
here sends her compliments to you so does Aunt Joanna. I have 
been to the Lebanon Springs but we could not stay long enough 
to do me any good, as Aunt Armstrong went also with us for the 
ride & we had not been there three days before we found that the 
air did not agree with Aunt's health. Tell this to my Mamma if 

^ " Your most dutiful Grandaugter 

Margaret B. Livingston 

The changing events in the life at Clermont now bright, 
now dark are given in frequent letters from both Madam 
Livingston and Peggy. Madam Livingston writes: 

... I know the feelings of Maternal love not to be conserned for 
the miscarriage of that which would have consoled you under the 
Separation from your Beloved Child, and well she deserves to be 
beloved as she is indeed a sweet child. She at present Labours un- 
der many disadvantages with respect to her Music & writing. My 
Steward who is a very fine penman is absent during the Summer 



months Surveying Land, so that she has gone far back in her 
writing, but still she has written four Letters to you which she in- 
dited herself refusing any assistance as she said it was your orders 
to her. I keep her to her french. She writes her fables and trans- 
lates very prittily but I am sorry to add that it is with great Diffi- 
culty that I can keep her to get her different Lessions every day, 
as she is sometimes very Idle indeed, but in every thing else, she 
behaves perfectly well. . . . 

Yours Sincerely 

Margt Livingston 
M rs Ann H Livingston 

To the care of Dr. Shippen 

. . . Our Dear Girl grows amazingly tall and behaves very well. 
I hope her writing will Improve daily. She attends to her French 
Study under Cap* Marceline reputed the first teacher in America. 
He attends her at 8 'Clock, at 9 she goes to M rs Hyndshaws 
Academy. . . . 

With respect to Music it is a Science which requires a lifes prac- 
tice to make a great proficiency in, and a girl of Moderate fortune 
has many things much more useful to learn. A Little Music at the 
age of 12 or fourteen [is] Sufficient to entertain herself and 
friends, occasionally is I think quit[e] Sufficient. I am sorry we 
differ in this Mode. . . . 

Colonel Livingston's attempts to get possession of his daugh- 
ter grow more and more menacing, as Madam Livingston tells 

... I shall now my Dear Madam let you into a Secret which I 
hope you will not mention again. Last Summer he [Col. Living- 
ston] was very attentive to her One day it happened that all the 
family were abroad. The Chancellor too. He first went there and 
would not sit down or give her time to sent to M ra Defforest and 
took the Road from the river to my house. I did not dare take 



her to rinebeck (as M r Tillotsons children had the whooping 
Cough). He came in and told the child she must go with him 
. . . that he had the Phaeton to carry her. She like a child did 
not seem unwilling to go. M rs deforest was over ruld and he car- 
ried her off. Her aunts took the Coach & said to him that I had 
sent for the Child. He refused. They wished to see her but were 
refused except they would go in his house. This Kitty & Joanna 
did not chuse to do, and came away without her. I then wrote a 
Letter to her with many instructions and observing to her that as 
her papa had thought fit to take her Education upon himself, 
which I had determined to spare no cost to make her an accom- 
plished woman, I advised her to be dutiful and attentive &c. This 
happened a few days before I left the country. . . . Altho he 
has no woman in his house but his daughter Harlot, yet the whole 
family were in the greatest distress. Several very smart Letters 
passed between the Gent, of our family and him. Coll Lewis at last 
prevailed to git him to bring her back exacting from me a strict 
promise not to permit her to go to Philadelphia. What could I do. 
I was obliged to give my word. I fear whenever he has a mind to 
extort a promise from me that he will again distress me by taking 
her out of my house as I have no one Gen* in it. ... 

I would not suffer her to write this to you well knowing what 
I had felt to wish you to experience the same. She now sits by me 
writing a long Letter to her dear Mama, the longest she ever 
wrote. Present me to your parents, M r and M rs Blair and my 
friend M r A. Lee. They will all accept of my best wishes for their 

The mysterious references of Madam Livingston are ex- 
plained only in part by a letter from Peggy to her mother. 
Driven to subterfuge by Livingston's continual attempts to 
make off with his child, her grandmother sends her from Cler- 
mont to a hidden retreat. From this hiding place Peggy writes 
to her mother under the name which she must have been told 
to use. 



My best loved Parent, 

This is the second letter I have written to-day, but it is my 
greatest pleasure to write to my sweet mama. The letter you shall 
receive from John with this I wrote before I received your second 
one. You say you must live upon my yesterdays letter, no my sweet 
mama I will not suffer it, for every day that I am away from you 
I will send you a letter. I write in a hurry for John is waiting to 
take this with the other to you. I got so much to say to you I don't 
know what to put first my paper is gone all to one half sheet, send 
me [mutilated] to y r excellent instructions. I will find out a way 
to see you with out gutting myself in danger don't be affraid. You 
must not make any attempts. I beg you wont. I'll manage it never 
fear. You must not know where I am. I am safe & comfortable, let 
note's suffise yet a while, you shall receive one regularly depend 
on't. I mus[t] now conclude 

Louisa Ann Lewis 
Dear & honour'd Mother 

I have at last finished my letter to my Papa, and now I fly to 
answer the sweet note guided by the hand I love. It is a happ 
[mutilated] write to my mama. O what a consolation it is for me 
to think that I have such a good mama such a friend. I have 
not written the letter to Papa as well as I could have wished it is 
true, but indeed mama my pen was so bad: besides my hand was 
so cold for I wrote it before dinner. Your assurance that nothing 
has happen'd has encouraged me. I am as happy my mama as I 
can be in my situation. I get a pen & ink from the woman whose 
house I am now in who is very kind to me. she is M rs Coxe's ser- 

Adieu, ever dear mama 

Louisa Ann Livingston 

P.S. You flatter me too much by saying you love to read my 
paltry little letters. 

My dearest Mother, 

How shall I thank you sufficiently for this instance of your love 
and care for me. I have been very well. After my morning task 
was over, I employed myself at the new shifts, & finish'd marking 



the other. I had not enough work, I therefore read 2 or 3 sections 
in E. of Critticism. I have not been idle I assure you. I finished 
what you left me, last night before I went to bed, and B - slept 
with me as you desir'd. I have been very anxious to see you indeed 
my dear Mama. I hope to-morrow you will be able to dine with 

us at least. B did not clean the room the day being so very 

bad. Pm very sorry last night it was such a charming night you 
did not take advantage of it for we are quite lost without you. 
The head looks much better than I expected Adieu my beloved 

M Your dutiful & affectionate Daughter 

M B Livingston 

I have a thousand things to tell you but I can't think of keeping 
Miss M c Clenagan's man so long. I have written this so fast I'm 
quite ashamed to send it you. 

Mrs. Livingston writes Nancy that Colonel Livingston 
threatens to sell all his estate and remove to Georgia, take 
Peggy from Clermont and educate her himself, but that she 
has a plan 

. . . which if I can bring it to bear will Secure the child and Es- 
tablish her Education. I have not yet got an answere. If I succeed, 
you will have timely notice to get the child with you so as she can 
be conveyed to me. This you will remember is to be an inviolable 
Secret to all but those Dear friends, who have taken part with us. 
Therefore I think it best that P[eggy] shall remain where she is as 
by her Letter she appears to be with decent Industrious people. Let 
the dear girl amuse herself as she likes for the present. Her trunk 
you can take off when you go. I have her baby and some little 
trinkets which with some Lanning & new Stockings, I have de- 
f ered sending till her abode was fixed. . . . 

Soon Madam Livingston writes Nancy in anguish: 

Dear Mad m 

My Pen is Bad, my heart is Sore, very, very Sore. I write upon 
paper ruled for my dear childs use to you. My fears are strong 



he is gone yesterday to N York to see Lawyers to bring a Suit 
against me in the Feadral Court. From me he vows to seek re- 
dress. I know the Man, this may be pretence to put you off your 
Gaurd. Will your Father, your B r your 2 Hon d uncles, will none 
interfere. In our State he is the only Gaurdian. As your Lawyers 
this Question which has been suggested by one o our Lawyers, Viz 
a devorse has taken place, you are now }&me sule. Are you not as 
much intitled to be her Gaurdian as he or rather her Sole gaurd- 
ian. She is a Citizen of Philad*. Can she be forcibly taken from 
you I cannot tell you what my feelings were when cruel necessity 
compeled me to order that my poor child should be exposed at 
this Season to ride in the night as I never suffered her to be out 
in the night air. Well did I know she would have been persued 
had he had any Idea of the rout she [one line cut out here] next 
day it would have been too late Y c next day I wished to avoid 
him and left home. I used a strategim which succeeded beyond 
my expectation. He was certain she went out with me and came 
to Gen 1 Armstrongs in the morning Saying he came to fetch 
Pfeggy] but heard she was there and expected to see her & asked 
me where she was. I was Silent, and he remained there till night. 
I had then gained a whole day & a night. He left us at dark 
expecting to get intelligence from y Chancellor & family, but in 
vain. My Servants were then asked. Money was offered but not 
one of the number could be tempted to betray the trust. He then 
returned to G. A. expecting I suppose to find her, but not seeing 
her he attacked me most violently affecting [illegible] passion 
Spoke of his feelings, his heart torn &c but as I knew he had many 
times disowned her to be his child and that it was all Duplicity I 
remained silent & left the Room. I promised the next morning 
that I would consider of his proposal y* he should keep her at 
his House 3 weeks, & y* she should spend the winter with me in 
town. On the fourth day after peggy left me I informed him that 
I was under engagement of Honor with you that I held a prom- 
ise Sacred & that I had made to keep the Child myself & not to 
suffer her to live with him that it was Impossible to permit a 
child of one of the first families in the United States to be in a 
family without a white woman in it that by the time he would 



receive the letter his Daughter was safe in the embraces of her 
Mother & friends in PhSad* This produced a Letter to the 
Cll r and me. He tells me again that from me he will have [her] 
He looks to none else & I shall answer for the Breach of trust, that 
all his family shall go with him to Georgia &c, which I answered 
with the old adage I fear God & I have no other fear Thus I 
have given you a detail of an affair which has indeed been very 
painfull. When I arrive at N York I shall make you a remittance 
for her Education &c, her baby shells, &c and shoes, shifts have 
been left but the occasion will I hope excuse it for he had told me 
if he found her I should never see her more and y* she should 
not be independent of him. This is the foundation upon which 
he would have her in order to bring me to make no provision for 
her in case of my dis [decease] I hope time and reflection will 
bring him to a sense of reason. M r Cox is not yet returned. I am 
very anxious to hear how her health is and how she bore the 
Journey. The Suddeness of her departure, prevented my saying 
many things which I ought to have said. Assure her of my truest 
affection and give her a kiss for me. Excuse the many faults and 

ascribe it to its true cause, anxiety. T v c- i 

7 J I am Yours Sincerely 

Clennont [Unsigned] 

Monday 29 Oct r 

P,S. I have written in confidence, Remember he is still my son & 
yr childs father. 

Still more alarmed by the threats of her son, Madam Liv- 
ingston at last gives orders to send the child under her new 
name secretly to Philadelphia, and writes to Nancy in agitation: 

May she arrive in Safety. I own I have my fears on that head. 
Should he send tomorrow and miss her I well know he will persue. 
I tremble at the Idea of her being conveyed to the Southern 
States where her relatives will never see or hear of her as he is 
determined she shall never be independant of him. Poor child, I 
fear for her health, as M r Cox the Gen 1 who acts for my Estate 
has orders to ride all this night. I shall order Blankets &c to keep 



her warm. Sara, one of my Maids goes with her to take care of 
her by the way. Cherish the tender plant if it shall please God 
to permit her to arrive in Safety. Implant every Sentiment of 
Piety Virtue and Goodness. I Leave her w[ith] you. Pray my 
dear Madam for Grace to enable you to fulfill the Charge com- 
mitted to your care. Be watchful of her person that alass why 
must I only fear her removal to such a distance. I can no more 
farewell y 


A few days later Madam Livingston hurriedly writes to 

I Snatch a moment my dear Madam to inform you to be on 
your Guard. He declares the Moment he is in cash he will go in 

persuit of He says he has heard that there is one at Beth m 

of her name. He has purchased a new Saddle & I believe that he 
will take that Rout and I know y* he has sold for a term of years 
Lotts in his fine woods. Every body flocks to buy, so that he cant 
be out of cash at present. He declares that he will never see me 
while he exists &c &c. 

I hope you have 30 from M r Kean which he has for Peggys 
use. 30 more shall be sent in Jan? by some good hand. . . . 

At length Colonel Livingston, having secured a writ of 
habeas corpus for Peggy, approaches his wife for a conference. 

My Dear Madam 

Let me entreat you to an interview of a Moment. I have no 
other View but to Convince you of an Error that begins already 
to Operate much to Your Prejudice. The writ is still in force & 
your Lawyer has by this time given in your answer so that the 
Cause is at issue & you & your Father will each forfeit the Penalty 
if you refuse I promise you on my word & Honor not to Terrify 
you by any Measures or improper words if you will see me. We 
may reason on the Business untill your Papa comes if you please. 
You will ease an anxious Heart. v 

Yours H. B. L. 



Upon Nancy's refusal to see her husband he replies: 

Dear Madam, 

I was last Evening Honourd with your fav*: and have taken the 
Night to reflect on your proposal. 

I am indeed sorry to inform you that the proposition you have 
made me is not such as I can with Honor Agree to. And even if 
this insurmountable Barrier was out of the Question & such a 
Place as you mention could be found & agreed on which perhaps 
would not be unless you had your Election who in this Case is to 
Act for me and place her there a Person appointed by you, or by 
me, if the latter, do you not (as you want confidence in my Honor) 
pkce her as much in my Power as if you had complied with my 
first Proposition? & even were all this to be got over what is to 
become of her when her education is compleat Must she still 
go to school or must the Question of her being with either of 
us again be Agitated to the injury of the Child and the dis- 
grace of one of us Is it not better that you should embrace 
the Certainty of seeing her when you please, than to reduce the 
Business to a Possibility a Bare possibility (which you must admit 
may happen) of your bong deprived of her forever. I will not 
endeavour to inspire you with Confidence in the Rectitude of 
my intentions farther than to request of you to lay your Hand 
on your own Heart & ask yourself if your Confidence in me has 
ever injured you and if most of the Serious Evils that has hap- 
pened to us has not in a great Measure had its Rise in a want of 
it, This being the Case will you persist in the Same Conduct to 
the injury of our dear Child. I hope you will not for be assured 
if in this instance I take any Measures disagreable to you it will 
be with extreme reluctance. I shall certainly leave Town on Mon- 
day Morning for N.Y. & in the Interim will make no attempts 
to recover Peggy other than by Negotiation with you & your 
Family in which your consent will be presumed. I only Chuse to 
say to you at present that I am sustained by the dictates of Honor 
and propriety from entering into any Obligations but that I be- 
lieve the line of conduct I shall pursue in case you meet my wishes 



will please [you] & that it will be dictated by my Ideas of Justice 
& propriety. 
I have the Honor to Subscribe my [self] 

Madam Your Most Ob* & very [Humble] 

Serv* TT T> T 

Henry B. Livingston 

The veiled threat in her husband's letter . . . "a Possibility 
a Bare possibility of your being deprived of her forever . . ." 
must have struck cold terror to Nancy's soul. She continued to 
keep Peggy in hiding and left the city herself for a period of 
two weeks so that the writ would expire before Colonel Liv- 
ingston could lay hands on the child. Nancy's attorney, Jared 
Ingersoll, writes her: 

I do myself the pleasure to inform you that yesterday a Motion 
was made in the Court of Common pleas for an Attachment against 
you as having been guilty of a Contempt in not producing your 
Daughter, at the time you made a return of the Habeas Corpus 
The Court were of opinion that the Writ was extinct, & that noth- 
ing could be done upon it. You may therefore with safety return 
to town as soon as you please. Suspicions are entertained (on what 
foundation I know not) that Col. Livingston means to seize the 
Child whenever he can find it I have given the hint to your 


The litigation ended in defeat for Nancy. The record at this 
point is incomplete and more or less incoherent, but it appears 
that a divorce could have been given Nancy on condition that 
Colonel Livingston have the custody of their child. In this 
event he could legally take Peggy to the far South, or any- 
where, and do with her what he would. Nancy might never 
again lay eyes upon her child. The alternative was that the 
existing situation, miserable and unfair to Nancy, Louis Otto 



and Peggy as it was, would remain the same. Nancy would not 
be given her freedom so that she and Otto could marry j but 
she could at least hope to visit her daughter in New York and 
have her with her a few months of every year. Furthermore, it 
would be possible for her to continue to have a voice in the 
child's care, training and education. If there was any financial 
settlement, it is not mentioned. 

Thus Nancy Shippen was faced with a choice where there 
was no choice. Otto always knew there was none that she could 
make. If she took her freedom and married him she would 
throw her child to the wolves. Knowing this, and knowing 
Nancy, he did not urge her divorce to make possible a marriage 
with him. 

The date of the last letter Nancy received from Otto was 
August 15, 1789, in which he wrote: 

"I have a great deal to say to you which I cannot comitt to the 

This may have meant that he wished to tell Nancy of his 
intention to re-marry} that he expected to ask the Chevalier de 
Crevecoeur for the hand of his daughter, or that they were 
even then engaged. Undoubtedly he must have written Nancy 
of his decision, and talked over the matter with her in full 
detail. Not to have done so would have been unlike him, un- 
like his honest heart, his honorable nature. If such a letter 
had come to Nancy, obviously it would be the only one of his 
she would destroy. 

The fall and the long winter pass without further word 
from Otto. Then, as the first year of Washington's presidency 
was drawing to a dose in April, 1790, the marriage of Louis 
Otto and Mile, de Crevecoeur took place in New York City. 
Those present were: The Most Honourable Mr, Thomas Jef- 


ferson, Secretary of State of the United States j the Honour- 
able Jeremiah Wadsworth and Honourable Jonathan Trum- 
bull, members of the Congress of the United States j the Hon- 
ourable Richard Morris, Judge of the Superior Court of New 
York} the Honourable Antoine R. C. M. Delaforest, Vice- 
Consul General of France in the United States, and Catherina 
Delaforest, his wife; the Honourable John Kean, member of 
the Treasury Commission of the United States, and Susannah 
Kean, his wife; Christopher Mantel Duchoquetez, Esq., St. 
Jean de Crevecoeur, Beau manoir Delaforest ; William Seton, 
Esq., and John Trumbull, Esq. 2 

What did Nancy think? With the passing of the numbness 
that undoubtedly followed the shock, she must have reminded 
herself that there was no other course for Louis Otto to take. 
He had a motherless child. He had waited for Nancy eight 
years. He had risked his career through the constant linking 
of his name with hers in dishonoring gossip. Furthermore, in 
his new office in the diplomatic service of his country, he would 
have in the lovely Fanny de Crevecceur, daughter of the dis- 
tinguished scholar and French officer, St. John de Crevecoeur, 
a wife who had high standing in both American and French 

Nancy may have read again that line in Louis' letter of the 
preceding year: "I was born for the peaceable enjoyments of 
domestic Life. . . ." 

Perhaps she made herself think that this was the one rea- 
sonable course for her former lover to take. Her former lover 
how bitter the adjective must have been! But of this she 
writes not a syllable. Leander's name never again appears in 
her journals. 

No longer did she find occupation and solace in recording 

2 See Supplementary Records (7). 


the daily events of her life in the little books that were once 
like friends and confidants. Undoubtedly, life itself was too 
severe for speech, as she came squarely face to face with its 
horrible realities and summoned all her forces to withstand 
them. Then and in the long years after, for her daughter's sake 
and her own, how she must have struggled for the strength to 
bear her grief! 

For the year 1791 there is but a single paragraph, the final 
entry of her Journal Book. It is written on Christmas Day, 
nearly two years after Louis Otto's marriage to Fanny de 

I have considered my life so uninteresting hitherto as to 
prevent me from continuing my journal & so I shall fill up the 
remainder with transcriptions It is certain that when the mind 
bleeds with some wound of recent misfortune nothing is of 
equal efficacy with religious comfort It is of power to enlighten 
the darkest hour, & to assuage the severest woe, by the relief 
of divine favor, & the prospect of a blessed immortality. In 
such hopes the mind expatiates with joy, & when bereaved of 
its earthly friends, solaces itself with the thoughts of one friend, 
who will never forsake it. 

In that bitter darkness, there was one heart beating close to 
hers the heart of her child. But the days were long and 
lonely, and the fight was hard. Silence covers the next two 
years. As Christmas of 1793 is approaching with its glad ex- 
pectation for Nancy of a visit from Peggy, the child writes: 

My dear Mama, ^ December * 1 1* 1793- 

How slow and tedious the time is in coming that will bring me 
once more to the arms of my Mother. D r Todd is not come from 
town yet with the fine paper, or I would have enclosed the two 
letters to my dear Grandmama & to M Cramond. The poor 



womans shift is now finished As I knew you would like to hear 
from your girl the first opportunity that offered I would not wait 
for the arrival of the paper to let you know that I am well. 

Your discription of your journey to town was truly very divert- 
ing, 'tho not so much so as the poor taylor's to see Cousin Snip. 
D r Batchelor has been here but I would not have my tooth drawn, 
because in your letter to M r8 Erwin you desired that nothing might 
be done to my teeth except in your presence. That little sore place 
on my heel has proved to be a chilblane. I don't know whether 
I have spelt the word right or not having never met with it be- 
fore as I remember; But the Doctor has given me something to 
put upon it. M r Erwin is going to town some time next week and 
I will send this by him. It's the first safe opportunity I have had 
to write. Please my Mama to give my best love to Grandpapa and 
Grandmama, to my Uncle and Aunt, and to my sweet little Cousin 
William. What does the dear little rogue thinks of the Tuskorora 
rice that I sent him? But, stop, its almost four o'clock. I must 
finish my exercises, for it will soon be dark. . . . 

I am, dearest Mama, your ever-affectionate, 

Ma. A. B. Livingston. 

P.S. Its quite unfashionable I'm told now, to put post-scripts 
but I forgot to tell you M rs Erwin sends her love to you. But she 
will write herself by this opportunity I expect. This letter Mama is 
intended for nobodys eye but your own. I'll try my very best hand 
'tho when I get the other paper. Adieu. M A B L. . . . 

Four years more heavily laden with sorrow for Nancy 
dragged by. At length in the early spring of 1797, when Peggy 
had reached the age of sixteen, she took affairs into her own 
hands, gave up the comforts and luxuries of Manor Clermont 
and all prospect of her expected fortune, left her adoring 
grandmother and aunts, and came to her mother, never again 
to leave her in life or in death. 

All this is told in three letters and in epitaph. 


Peggy's Aunt Janet wrote to Nancy: 

Ty Madam 

We part with your little girl with the less regret as she is to be 
with a Mother so well calculated to form, and compleat her edu- 
cation & most certainly you could not have a better subject to 
work upon, since she has a fine understanding with a tast[e] for 
books. The graces she will doubtless acquire in your circle. I pray 
for her happiness and hope to hear that she is safely arrived at 
Philadelphia and in the arms of a family on whom she has double 
claims, and to whom I request my Compliments. You also will 
accept my best wishes. I am ever 

Your Most Obedient Serv* 
Janet Montgomery 

When Eliza Coxe learned the news she wrote: 

. . . How happy am I to have it in power to congratulate you on 
the return of your charming Daughter she has I dare say made 
great progress in her improvements as well as in her person 
Maria joins me in begging you will present our love to her & as- 
sure her we have not yet forgotten her tho' it is almost three years 
since I have seen her. . . . 

From Williamsburgh came a gay letter from Tommy, dated 
April 20, 1797, which is among the last he lived to write: 

My dear Sister 

. . . Yesterday's post brought me the letter which I am thus 
early doing myself the pleasure to answer, and I assure you that 
I have very great pleasure in answering it. First, because it is from 
you, and then because it is so well written, and full of such agree- 
able topics. . . . 

You astonish me by saying that my grandfather has not yet 
made his intended visit ^Shall I then never see him again? If he 
has no objection to it, I really think we will make a large party 
this Summer to visit him in Sussex What say you to it you and 
Peggy Shall we fill the Coaches & all go up together? Who knows 



but we may make such a trip but I fear most from your natural 
repugnance to Parties Perhaps Peggy may for once overcome 
it by her entreaties Ha! Peggy! 

(On verso of this sheet is the following) : 

To Miss M. B. Livingston 

I would with great pleasure do more than you ask me, my dear 
Niece, for instead of a postscript, I would write you a letter, had 
I not already written both to your Mamma and Grandmamma 
this morning, and if I were not fatigued by doing so. Besides that, 
I am this moment informed of an opportunity of writing to a place 
where I have urgent business, and for which an oppr^ seldom 

Your letter gave me great pleasure & I could not but applaud 
that overbalancing love for your dear Mamma which is so natural 
and does you so much honor, and which induced you to forego 
all the advantages your grand Mamma Livingston offered you by 
a residence in her family. When you write to her next, do not 
forget my dear, to assure her of my respect and constant regard- 
So your cousin Lewis is the Belle of N. York Well you must 
try to be if not the Belle (which by the bye I cannot think the 
most honorable or desirable distinction) the most accomplished and 
the most amiable young lady in Phil* Nothing could give more 
heart felt pleasure to your and your Mammas 

Most affectionate friend 
Th. L. Shippen 

But this happiness for which she had so yearned came too 
late for Nancy Shippen. Anxieties, persecution and grief had 
encompassed her from the day she was forced to break her 
troth to Louis Otto. Her marriage and the years following it 
had been beset with dangers, and with dread that her child 
would be taken from her. Her brother, at the age of thirty- 
two years, was dead of consumption. Her feeling for her par- 
ents had changed. She had come to a full realization of their 



part in wrecking her life by making her marry Livingston and, 
at a critical point of the divorce proceedings, defending him 
against her. The man she loved, her Louis Otto, was estranged 
from her and gone forever across the seas. Never again would 
she see or hear from him. 

All the sorrows of her life must have gathered in strange 
and menacing shadows, crouching to spring upon her. Against 
them her daughter flung her brave spirit, her undying love for 
her beautiful mother. But even her sacrifice was too late. 

Nancy's bright faculties dimmed and faded out. 

As the eighteenth century came to an end, the blinds of 
Shippen House were closed, its hospitable hearths cold, the 
rooms empty, and the gardens untended. Passing into the own- 
ership of the Wistar feunily, a new stage of its history began, 
and even its name was obliterated. Dr. and Mrs. Shippen, 
stricken by the premature deaths of their son and the elder 
grandson, and by the estrangement from their afflicted daugh- 
ter, moved to Germantown with their one surviving grandson, 
William Shippen. Dr. Shippen died at Germantown July n, 
1 808. Nancy remained in Philadelphia under the care of physi- 
cians and occupied chambers of her own with her devoted child 
always in attendance. Occasionally they had a semblance of 
social intercourse with friends and neighbors: ghosts of old 
"gaieties," parties and dances to which Peggy was invited, and 
over which perhaps her mother hovered. But eventually 
mother and daughter went into a seclusion from which, so far 
as record can be found, they never emerged. Nancy's former 
spirit and zest for life blurred into a form of religious melan- 

The papers and letters extant show that at intervals Nancy 
was sufficiently normal to feel a responsibility for the financial 



aspect of her child's welfare, for she wrote several times to 
her husband's brother, Honorable Edward Livingston, in refer- 
ence to Peggy's estate. Now and then she expressed an interest 
in her nephew's affairs and exchanged letters with him and with 
some of her old friends. There were days when she recognized 
her daughter's presence beside her and took comfort from it. 

The letters of Louis Otto were always in her possession until 
they passed into her daughter's cherishing hands. After Peggy's 
death they went, with all her mother's other letters and docu- 
ments, to Tommy's son, William Shippen, who without knowl- 
edge of their authorship and possibly not even of their con- 
tents, left them to his descendants. There may have been mo- 
ments when Nancy read them again, when, perhaps, she told 
Peggy of the Louis whom she loved and who was lost to her. 

Her own mother, Alice Lee, lonely and blind in her old age, 
was the last survivor of the Stratford Lees. Nancy did not see 
her, even in death. Her five beloved uncles and her aunt, Han- 
nah Ludwell Corbin, all died long before the year 1817 when 
her mother passed away. Nancy's "dear Virginia" beckoned her 
no more. 

When Madam Livingston died she left to her namesake and 
favorite grandchild, Peggy, so long a member of the Clermont 
household, the fortune which the young girl had renounced 
for her mother's sake. 

In a letter dated February 6, 1801, Nancy's old friend Maria 
Burrows wrote to her: 

I am highly pleased that Peggy's Grandmama has provided so 
well for her I always thought she w* as she has been spoken of 
as a very fine and good old Lady and as she well knew the perse- 
cution you have endured on account of your marriage she no 
doubt had a feeling for your Child. 



In Dr. Shippen's will some provision was made for Nancy, 
and in Tommy's will were the characteristic bequests: 

I give to my dear sister Anne Home Livingston an hundred 
pounds to be laid out in Tea & Coffee urns cream pot & sugar dish 
made of silver & engraved with my coat of arms. ... I give to 
my niece Margaret Beekman Livingston two hundred dollars to 
be laid out in a harpsichord or a wedding bed & bed curtains as she 
may chuse. 

But for Nancy's daughter there was never a thought of 
harpsichord or wedding bed, nor of use for the Livingston for- 
tune save as it ministered to her mother's needs. 

After the turn of the century, as the black-hooded years trod 
slowly, mournfully on, the mother and daughter lived to see 
even the memories of their kinspeople and early friends fallen 
like dead leaves. Their own lives were like candles blown out. 

The end of Nancy's long death-in-life came in the summer 
of 1841. For the greater part of forty years she had been im- 
mersed in hopeless melancholy, roused occasionally by the pass- 
ing of relatives and friends. She took a morbid interest in com- 
posing epitaphs and hymns and in writing long confused letters 
of condolence, which are chiefly accounts of her dreams of the 

Her daughter lived after her for twenty-three years. Of 
these long years the only record is a letter from a Philadelphia 
attorney to Peggy's cousin William Shippen. The attorney 
makes it clear that, like her mother and her grandmother be- 
fore her, Peggy too became a religious fanatic. Swindlers posing 
as clergymen made away with their portion of the Livingston 
fortune. Except for her physician and the men who victimized 
her and her mother, Peggy Livingston was literally buried 
alive. She who was the accomplished daughter of one of the 


first families of the United States, the most historic figure 
among American children in the days of the nation's making 
the pet of President Washington, of her uncle Chancellor Liv- 
ingston, of her great-uncle, Richard Henry Lee, and of other 
statesmen of the First Congress this gifted child strangely, 
terribly, dropped from sight. 

Peggy died in the dosing year of the Civil War and was 
also buried in the cemetery of Woodlands, that ancient estate 
of the Hamilton family, friends of Shippens, Lees and Liv- 
ingstons in every generation for more than a century. 

So, in the end Nancy and her daughter are together in sweet 
and friendly soil, they are buried in one grave. They sleep 
near the path leading from Mansion Avenue, close to the 
scarred old stone house. A red rose bush blooms all summer 
long within their burial plot, and sometimes the petals drift 
down upon the low white marble slab with its few carved lines: 

Here lie the remains of 

Mrs. Anne Hume Livingston 

Daughter of Dr. William Shippen, 

who died Aug. 23, 1841, in the 78th 

year of her age 

The remains of 

Miss Margaret Beekman Livingston 
Died July i, 1864, in the 82nd year of her age 



When Nancy Skiff en's brother Tom was studying law at Williams- 
burg in 1783 and 1784^ he sfent fart of the Christmas holidays at 
Westover. His letter describing the historic mansion and its grounds was 
found by the editor in the Shiffen Papers in the Library of Congress 
and given its initial publicity. 

Westover Dec r 30 1 1 odock at night. 
My very dear Papa and Mamma, 

I am just now retiring to rest after having spent A most delightful 
day with the lovely inhabitants of this place; they are charming indeed: 
M ra B. seated at the head of her table, with her four amiable and ac- 
complished daughters around her exhibits the most engaging scene, 
and inspires the most exalted idea of human nature: But their portraits 
I will draw for you at another time, as they deserve each of them a 
particular one, at present I will only give you a short account of my 
chamber in which I am writing, and in the morning endeavor to make 
you acquainted with Westover itself. 

Imagine then a room of 20 feet square, and 12 feet high, wainscoated 
to the deling, hung with a number of elegant gilt framed pictures of 
English noblemen and two of the most beautiful women I have ever 
seen (one of whom opposite to the bed where I lay) and commanding 
a view of a prettily failing grass plat varrigated with pedestals of many 
different kinds, about 300 by 1 00 yards in extent an extensive prospect 
of James River and of all the Country and some gentlemen's seats on 
the other side; the river is banked up by a wall of four feet high, and 
about 300 yards in length, and above this wall there is as you may sup- 
pose the most enchanting walk in y world Nor are the prettiest trees 
wanting to compleat the beauty of the Scene* I must tell you too as I 
am now only introducing you to my chamber, that on the floor is seen 
a rich scotch carpet, and that the Curtains and Chair covers are of the 
finest crimson silk damask, my bottle and bason of thick & beautiful 
china, and my toilet which stands under a gilt framed looking glass, is 
covered with a finely worked muslin. Taking together the different 



parts of this incoherent account you will have a pretty just idea of my 
chamber. And now my dear friends I wish you a good night, the first 
hour of y morning shall be devoted to you, for from you not even the 
many charms of Westover can divert a moments attention. A fine fire 
smiling in my chimney seems almost to tempt me to proceed, but it is 
late, and Sleep begins to enforce her claims. 

Dec? 31. 83. A fine snow has fallen last night, and adds very much 
to the beauty of my prospect; the contrast between the trees and the 
whiteness of the ground is pleasing; But to my promise, which I must 
endeavor to fulfil, tho* I shou'd fall very short of my desire. I will 
begin then with the entrance to this favored seat of Grace and Beauty. 
You leave the main road from Wflliamsburg to Richmond about two 
miles from Westover and ride a mile and a half thro' a most charming 
Wood which has ever been the hobby horse of its possessor on account 
of its beauty, and has always belonged to Westover. You pass thro' 
two gates, and from the second, which leads you into the improved 
grounds, may be seen a village of quarters as they are called for the 
negroes. The road you get into upon opening this gate is spacious and 
very level bounded on either side by a handsome ditch & fence which 
divide the road from fine meadows whose extent is greater than the eye 
can reach; and on one side you see the river through trees of different 
sorts. These meadows well watered with canals, which communicate 
with each other across the road give occasion every 50 yards for a 
bridge; and between every two bridges are, two gates one on each side 
the road. You cannot easily conceive how fine an effect this has, but 
I must not omit mentioning the trees which tho thinly planted on 
both sides the road are a considerable accession. This road so beautiful 
that I can never go slow enough thro it, does not run in a straight line 
to the house it goes on the right of it for a little more than a quarter 
and a Y* quarter of a mile, you then turn to the left thro a very mag- 
nificent gate into the farm yard, where are the most commodious 
stables for the stock that I ever saw, You pass thro the extreme edge 
of it on the left, leaving it on the left. The road now becomes circu- 
lar, & the remaining }4 quarter of a mile conducts you to the house 
itself. I do not know how to give you a better idea of the building 
themselves than by the assistance of a simple figure whose unseemliness 
you must excuse, as you know I am no draughtsman* from this figure 
you can form but a very imperfect idea of the buildings indeed, but it is 

* Unfortunately the faded condition of the sketch prevents its reproduc- 
tion here. 



as good a one as I can give you, as such I am sure you will be satisfied 
with it. I only mean to describe the ground floor of any of the houses. 
The circular dotted line marked L. may represent the road which leads 
to the house the middle J, the gate opposite to the house which you 
ride up to, it is made of iron curiously wrought, and is exceedingly 
high, wide and handsome. The letter N which is put there for North 
is also the front door, which leads thro' a very wide entry, beautifully 
adorned with pictures and furniture of different sorts, and an elegant 
staircase, is very high and Stocoed at the top. The I st room on the 
left after you enter the N. door marked d, is the common dining room, 
with fourteen black & gilt framed pictures, wainscoated (as all the rooms 
are) to the cieling, with windows as you see described on the paper. 
The room marked c is the drawing room of the same size of the last 
mentioned and both of the dimensions of my chamber. The furniture 
here is more rich, being silk damask and in the other room a yellow 
stuff with red and white cases to the chairs, but has a handsome marble 
slab, which the drawing room has not. The pictures too are better than 
in the dining room, and it commands the view which I told you I en- 
joyed from my chamber, which is the room above it. The rooms e, f, 
g, & h are you see of a less size and not equal to one another as the 
rooms on the other side of the entry are. Of their particular uses I am 

The house is only two story high but the garrets are commodious 
and clever. The house marked T. was the library, and appears very 
well suited to the purpose, as it is large and very light having (tho' 'tis 
not so on the paper) two windows on each side of the door, which is in 
the middle This is the room where they used to dance too. The others 
are large and ornamental, but now uninhabited, and I cannot con- 
ceive what were the uses of all of them. The kitchen is somewhere be- 
tween L & O. The houses marked P are Temples of Cloacina. Q R & 
S have been Stables> Coach houses &c The crooked line marked x shows 
you where the garden is which is very large and exceedingly beautiful 
indeed. The one opposite to it &c is the place where there is a pretty 
grove neatly kept, from which the walk thro' one of the pretty gates 
marked g 1 leads you to the improved grounds before the house. The 
letters, a, a, & a, are put where the River flows beautifully along, 
carrying with it, or rather giving birth to Commerce Riches & Happi- 
ness I have markd some little crooked ugly figures for Gentlemen's 
seats, which tho* they do not beautify indeed the picture, add much to 
the prospect, about as many Seats are to be seen on the other side. 



There are some pot hooks and hangers, which I have intended to 
make personate tall & stately trees, which least you should mistake them 
I write under, as the painter did under his sign "These are Trees. One 
principal fault of my draught is that the circle of which you see the 
segments, ought to be much larger, so that the periphrasis of it should 
come much nearer to the buildings K & I &c. Thus much for what 
is inanimate, (? ) the rest I must reserve to another letter, as I dare say 
you are hear[tily] tired and I am sure my arm is. If you derive a mo- 
ments entertainment from this essay, I shall be more than paid for my 
trouble, which tho' 'tis not very trifling, I fancy will not prove so 
great, as yours has been to read what I have wrote. A post is just ar- 
rived and brings no letter, what a dissappointment! No letter yet from 
Mama, Nancy, Grandpapa, Washington or any but my dear Papa 
who is very good indeed and obliges me exceedingly by writing as often 
as he does, I hope my sweet Mamma thinks of her son often, tho' she 
finds it troublesome to write. My next letter must be a long one as I 
have a great deal to say. Adieu. THOMAS LEE SHIPPEN 

My Uncle William desires to be remembered to you, and wishes to 
know what you would advise him to do for his eyes which he finds are 
beginning to grow exceedingly weak insomuch that he can't read at all 
by candle light. You do not mention any thing about my hat. 
N. B. Bank notes pass without difficulty or loss in Wflliamsburg. Jan 7 6 


D* William Shippen Jun r 

[Endorsed] : Description of Westover 

Skiff en Papers, Library of Congress. 


Monsieur Marbois was a social lion among the Philadelphia ladies^ 
as evidenced by this letter from. Nancy*s friend M. Coxe, inviting her 
to a country forty: 

Mr. H. takes Sophia Francis under his care, & T. Footman is to go 
with the Hamilton^ but in what carriage is not determined. Mr* Bache 



wfll be with us, & I hope M r Franklin who is expected in Town before 
Tuesday. M r Marbois, who I have also asked, has a very gentle horse, & 
if you have a Chair, I think the best way wfll be to make a pair of you 
at once, by putting you under his protection. We shall see him this 
evening, when I wfll mention the plan, which I am sure will give him 
pleasure 5 but if you do not like it, I trust we have other resources left. 
I am happy to find that the party anticipate a good deal of pleasure iff 
this country frolic, & hope their expectations wfll be answered. 


General Francisco de Miranda was another of the famous guests of 
Shippen House during 1783 and 1784. A native of Venezuela, he 
dedicated his life to liberating the Spanish colonies from the rule of 
Spain. He is designated by South American writers as "The Precursor 
of Spanish-American Independence." During his service in the Ameri- 
can Revolution he conceived the idea of liberating South America from 


"I have already mentioned Mr. Powel, at present I must speak of 
his wife 5 and indeed it would be difficult to separate from each other, 
two persons, who for twenty years have lived together in the strictest 
union; I shall not say as man and wife, which would not convey the 
idea of perfect equality in America, but as two friends, happily matched 
in point of understanding, taste, and information. Mr. Powel, as I 
have before said, has travelled in Europe, and returned with a taste for 
the fine arts; his house is adorned with the most valuable prints, and 
good copies of several of the Italian masters. Mrs. Powel has not trav- 
elled, but she has read a great deal, and profitably: it would be unjust 
perhaps, to say, that in this she differs from the greatest part of the 
American ladies; but what distinguishes her the most is, her taste for 
conversation, and the truly European use she knows how to make of 
her understanding and information." 


This letter from Bushrod Washington in the SKpfen Papers with- 
out the name of the ferson to whom it was addressed, was identified 



by the editor as having been written to Nancy. One wonders whether 
Bushrod Washington still cherished a ho$e that circumstances might 
bring him into closer relations with Nancy, or whether the following 
letter in the stately yet intimate style of the day was purely one of loyal 

Bushfield Westmoreland County 

April 28* 1784 
D r Madam 

Had I not a great deal of fortitude to leave Philadelphia on Good 
Friday, although so much happiness was promised me if I had staid? 
I certainly should have felt myself incapable of resisting the pleasing 
prospect, had I not considered, that the succeeding Day might Appear 
with equal attraction, and might render me equally desirous of being 
attracted In short, my regret on parting with you and my other 
Friends was not the effusion of a moment or from the peculiar happi- 
ness of a Day, but it was produced by a sincere and lasting attachment 
which dreaded a seperation I have often wished that Philadelphia had 
fewer charms for me, or that Fortune had fixed me there for Life 
Added to the reluctance with which I was about to bid adieu, the 
Moment of my departure was attended with very inauspicious circum- 
stances* and had I been superstitious, I wou'd certainly have postponed 
my design until things should wear a more propitious face My Horse, 
than whom a more peaceable, good natured animal lives not, Sancho's 
Dapple not excepted, appeared to be infected with feelings somewhat 
congenial with my own, and either refused to move a step, or if he did, 
it was retrogade In this manner did he for some time give a loose to 
his inclination, until by reiterated strokes of the whip, he thought me 
too much in earnest and humbly submitted his will to mine Whilst I 
am mentioning the ill boding Signs which attended my departure, I 
wfll just observe that a most violent and chilling Snow escorted me 
eight miles from the City to allay I imagine that warm attachment 
which so often tempted me "To cast one longing, lingering look be- 
hind" No other accident attended me, nor no adventure occurred 
worth relating I arrived home in Nine Days, and thank Heaven 
found my Parents in good health and happy to see me 

May I congratulate you on the happy interview with your lovely, 
and endearing little Baby? I hope M r Willing did not disappoint you 
After so long a seperation, (for to you it must have appeared so) I can 
fancy nothing more exquisitely tuned than your feelings on the occasion 
I most sincerely hope that you found her in good health, fare ad- 



vanced in the improvements of her little mind, and if possible in 
beauty . . . 

Be pleased to Remember me in the most friendly manner to my 
female acquaintances, particularly to the Miss Shippens Miss Coxes & 
Miss Delainy Assure your own family of my attachment 

I thank you sincerely for allowing me the pleasure of writing to 
you, and of assuring you of my Friendship Although to hear from 
you by letter, would be a very high gratification, yet I leave you per- 
fectly unrestrained; I should consider it as a favor for which I could 
never be sufficiently grateful, but I will not stipulate for it as a right 
I only lament that illiberal Custom should in this Country alone dis- 
countenance a correspondence between the Sexes 

That you & yours may enjoy the most perfect health and the most 
uninterrupted happiness is amongst the sincerest wishes of 

your friend and very humble Servant 

B Washington 

P.S. The family beg to be remembered to yours My sister's compli- 
ments to you and wfll be much indebted to you for the Ballad of "One 
fond Kiss" &c. 


That Nancy had no legal protection from any slander Colonel Liv- 
ingston might $ut in circulation is shown by the following: 

Female virtue, by the temporal law, is perfectly exposed to the slan- 
ders of malignity and falsehood; for any one may proclaim in conver- 
sation, that the purest maid or the chastest matron is the most mere- 
tricious and incontinent of women, with impunity, or free from anim- 
adversions of the temporal courts. Thus female honour, which is dearer 
to the sex than their lives, is left by the common kw to be the sport 
of an abandoned calumniator. [Blackstone] 3 Vol. 125 

From this impartial statement of the account, I fear there & little 
reason to pay a compliment to our laws for their respect and favour to 
the female sex. Notes by Christian (early editor of Blackstone's 
"Commentaries") following Blackstone's chapter on "Husband and 

Commentaries on the Laws of England, in Four Books by Sir William Black- 
stone. 1 3th ed. with notes and additions by Edward Christian. London, for 
A. Strahan, 1800. Volume I, Book I, Chap. 15, p. 445 [c]. 



Received, by the editor from Comte Louis de Crevecceur 
To each and all, greeting in God's name 

I, the undersigned, Catholic and apostolic pastor of the church of 
St* Peter, "Novae Eboracentis" commonly called New-York, by these 
presents give notice and certify to all and sundry whom it may con- 
cern that I have united in marriage, according to the rites of the Holy 
Roman Church, 

M. Louis Guillaume Otto, knight of the Most Christian King, charge 
cPaffaires in the United States (which he discharged to the approval 
of all) by his own right and Miss America Francisca de St. Jean de 
Crevecceur (by father of the bride) -Michaele Guillaume Joanne de 
St. Jean de Crevecoeur, knight, Consenting on the thirteenth day of 
April A.D. 1790. 

Witnesses present were: The Most Honorable Mr. Thomas Jefferson 
secretary of State of the United States, the Honorable Jeremiah Wads- 
worth and Hon. Jonathan Trumbull members of the Congress of the 
United States, Hon. Richard Morris Judge of the Superior Court of the 
state of New York, Hon. Antoine R.C.M. Delaforest, Vice-Consul 
General of France in the United States and Catherina Delaforest his 
wife; Hon. John Kean member of the Treasury Commission of the 
United States and Susanna Kean his wife; William Seton Esquire, 
John Trumbull esquire; Christopher Mantel Duchoquetez esquire; in 
proof whereof I have signed with my own hand 

Done at "novi Eboraci," commonly New York on the above day of 
this month of April A.D. 1790 

(Autograph signatures) Louis Guillaume Otto A. Francis de 
Crevecceur St Jean de Crevecoeur Th Jefferson Jere Wadsworth 
Jon a Trumbull Ri Morris Antoine and C. M. de la Forest Beau- 
manoir De la Forest John Kean S. Livingston Kean Ph. Living- 
ston W* Seton Ju a Trumbull Mantel Duchoquetez Nicolaus de 
St Thoma Burke Pastor ut supra 

We, Vice Consul General of France in the United States of America 
residing at the seat of the general government at New York^ certify 
to all concerned that Monsieur Nicolaus de S Thoma Burke, who 
'signed the certificate of the celebration of marriage in preceding part 


is in fact the curate and priest of the Catholic parish of St. Peter in 
this city, and that every certificate signed by him in this capacity is en- 
titled to credence in law as elsewhere; in testimony whereof we have 
signed these presents and have had affixed the royal seal of the Con- 
sulate of New York. 

Given at our Consular residence in New York the fourteenth of 
April 1790 

de la Forest 



Abbatt, William, Ed. "The Life and Career of Major John Andre, 
Adjutant-General of the British Army in America." By Win- 
throp Sargent. New edition with notes and illustrations. New 
York, William Abbatt, 1902. 

Archambault, Anna Margaretta, Ed. "A Guide Book of Art, Architec- 
ture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania," Phfla., The John C. 
Winston Co,, 1924. 

Beverley, Robert "The History of Virginia," Richmond, J. W. Ran- 
dolph, 1855. 

Biddle, Henry D., Ed. "Extracts from the Journal of Elizabeth 
Drinker from 1759 to 1807," Phfla., J. B. Lippincott Co., 1889. 

Bowers, Claude G. "Jefferson and Hamilton; the Struggle for Democ- 
racy in America," Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Co., 

Brissot de Warvflle, Jacques Pierre. "New Travels in the United 
States of America, Performed in 1788," Tr. from the French. 
Boston, J. Bumstead, 1797. 

Brown, Alexander. "The Genesis of the United States,," with 100 
Portraits, Maps, and Plans . . . Lend., W. Heinemann, 1890. 

Campbell, Charles. "History of the Colony and Ancient Domain of 
Virginia," Phfla., J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1860. 

Carson, Hampton L. "The Supreme Court of the United States: its 
History and its Centennial Celebration, February 4th, 1890," 
Phfla., A. R. Keller Co., 1892. 

Chase, Eugene Parker, Ed. and Tr. "Our Revolutionary Forefathers; 
the Letters of Frangoisj Marquis de Barbe-Marbois during his resi- 
dence in the United States as Secretary of the French Legation, 
1779-1785," K Y., Duffield & Co., 1929. 



Chastellux, Frangois Jean, Marquis de. "Travels in North- America in 
the Years 1780, 1781, and 1782, Tr. from the French by an 
English Gentleman," Lond., G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1787, 2 

Cluny, Alexander. "The American Traveller," By an Old and Ex- 
perienced Trader, Lond., E. and C. Dflly, etc., 1769. 

Cousins, Frank, and Phil M. Rfley. "The Colonial Architecture of 
Philadelphia," Boston, Little, Brown and Co., 1920. 

CrSvecceur, Michel Gufllaume St. Jean de. "Sketches of Eighteenth 
Century America," Ed. by Henri L. Bourdin, Ralph H. Gabriel 
and Stanley T. Williams. New Haven, Yale University Press, 

Davies, Benjamin. "Some Account of the City of Philadelphia, the 
Capital of Pennsylvania, and Seat of the Federal Congress," 
Phfla., Printed by Richard Folwell, 1794. 

Dumas, Mathieu, Comte. "Memoirs of his Own Time; Including the 
Revolution, the Empire, and the Restoration," Phfla., Lea & 
Blanchard, 1839, 2 vols. 

Earle, Alice Morse. "Stage-Coach and Tavern Days," N. Y., The 
Macmillan Co., 1900. 

"Home Life in Colonial Days," N. Y., The Macmillan Co., 


Eberlein, Harold Donaldson, and Horace Mather Dppincott. "The 
Colonial Homes of Philadelphia and its Neighbourhood," Phfla. 
and Lond., J. B, Lippincott Co., 1912. 

Ellis, Annie Raine, Ed. "The Early Diary of Frances Burney 
(d'Arblay) 1768-1778," Lond., G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1913, 
Vol. L 

Glenn, Thomas Allen. "Some Colonial Mansions and those who Lived 
in them," Phfla., H. T. Coates & Co., 1900. 

Grant, Mrs. Anne (Macvicar). "Memoirs of an American Lady, 
with Sketches of Manners and Scenes in America as they 
Existed Previous to the Revolution," N. Y., Dodd, Mead and 
Co., 1901. 



Griswold, Rufus Wflmot. "The Republican Court, or American So- 
ciety in the Days of Washington," N. Y., D. Appleton & Co., 

Hayden, Horace Edwin. "Virginia Genealogies," Wikesbarre, Pa., 

Humphreys, Mary Gay. "Catherine Schuyler," N. Y., C. Scribner's 
Sons, 1897. 

Jefferson, Thomas. "Notes on the State of Virginia," Boston, 1801. 

Keith, Sir William. "The History of the British Plantations in Amer- 
ica," Lond., S. Richardson, 1738. 

Lee, Edmund Jennings. "Lees of Virginia, 1642-1892," Phfla., Frank- 
lin Printing Co., 1895. 

Maclay, William. "The Journal of William Maday, United States 
Senator from Pennsylvania, 1789-1791," N. Y., A. & C. Boni, 

McClellan, Elizabeth. "Historic Dress in America, 1607-1800," with 
an introductory chapter . . . illustrations by Sophie B. Steel, 
Philadelphia, G. W. Jacobs & Company, 1904. 

"Magazine of the Society of the Lees of Virginia," Vol. IX, No. I, 
Mar. 1933. 

Mease, James. "Picture of Philadelphia, Giving an Account of its 
Origin, Increase and Improvements in Arts, Sciences, Manufac- 
tures, Commerce and Revenue," Phfla., R. Desflver, 1831. 

Mereness, Newton D., Ed. "Travels in the American Colonies," N. Y., 
The Macmfllan Co., 1916. 

Monaghan, Frank. "French Travellers in the United States, 1765- 
1932; a bibliography," N. Y., The New York Public Library, 


Myers, Albert Cook, Ed. "Sally Wister's Journal; Being a Quaker 
Maiden's Account of her Experiences with Officers of the Conti- 
nental Army, 1777-1778," Phfla., Ferris & Leach, 1902. 

Parsons^ Jacob Cox, Ed. "Extracts from the Diary of Jacob Hfltz- 
heimer of Philadelphia, 1765-1798," Phfla., W. F. Fell & Co., 



Parton, James. "Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin," Boston and 
New York, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1892. 

Paxton, John Adems. "The Stranger's Guide. An Alphabetical List of 
all the Wards, Streets, Roads . . . Wharves, Ship Yards, Public 
Buildings, SEC. in the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia," Phfla., 

Robertson, William Spence, Ed. "The Diary of Francisco de Miranda, 
tour of the United States, 1783-1784," N. Y., The Hispanic So- 
ciety of America, 1928. 

Robin, Claude C. "New Travels Through North-America," Phfla., 
Robert Bell, 1783. 

Schaw, Janet. "Journal of a Lady of Quality; Being the Narrative of a 
Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina, and 
Portugal, in the years 1774 to 1776," Ed. by E. W. & C. M. 
Andrews. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1934. 

Selincourt, Ernest de, Ed. Spenser's Minor Poems. Oxford, Clarendon 
Press, 1910. 

Sherrill, Charles Hitchcock. "French Memories of Eighteenth Century 
America," N. Y., C. Scribner's Sons, 1915. 

Smith (Mrs. William Stephens [Abigail Adams]). "Journal and cor- 
respondence," Ed. by her daughter, N. Y., Wiley & Putnam, 

Tfllotson, Harry Stanton. "The Exquisite Exfle, The Life and For- 
tunes of Mrs. Benedict Arnold," Boston, Lothrop, Lee & Shep- 
ard Co., 1932. 

Tower, Charlemagne. "The Marquis de La Fayette in the American 
Revolution," Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1895, 2 

Twining, Thomas. "Travels in America 100 Years Ago," N. Y., 
Harper & Brothers, 1894. 

Washington, George. "Diaries," Ed. by John C. Fitzpatrick, Boston 
& N. Y., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1925, 4 vols. 

Watson, John F. "Annals of Philadelphia," Phfla., Carey & Hart, 1830. 


Weddell, Alexander Wflbourne, Ed. "A Memorial Volume of Virginia 
Historical Portraiture, 1585-1830," Richmond, The William 
Byrd Press, 1930. 

Wharton, Anne Hollingsworth. "Salons Colonial and Republican," 
Phfla., J. B. Lippincott Co., 1900. 

Wood, Anna Wharton. "The Robinson Family," [With letters of 
Vicomte de Noaflles] In Rhode Island Historical Society Bul- 
letin, No. 42. 

Shippen Papers. (Library of Congress) 
Richard Bland Lee Papers. (Library of Congress) 

The Lee Collection of Original Letters and Documents of the Robert 
E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Inc. 





Actors, see Garrick, Siddons 

Adages, Dr. William Shippen uses, 1015 
Madame Livingston uses, 288 

Adams, Henry, Collection of French 
State Papers of Moustier, 31 

Adams, John, Diary of, 575 entertained 
at Shippen House, 23 

Adams, Samuel, and Richard Henry 
Lee receive M. Gerard, 70 

Adams Family (of Massachusetts), po- 
sition of, 113 

Addison, Joseph, sea "Spectator* 1 

"Address to Miss A. S.," verses to 
Nancy from Otto, 80 

Alleghariies, opening of region of, 49 

Allen, Mrs., favors match of daughter 
with. Thomas Lee Shippen, 24.9 

Allen, Peggy, compared by General 
Knox to Nancy, 193-194. 

Allen, "Raney," courted by Thomas 
Lee Shippen, 249 

Allen Family, 55$ guests at Nancy's 
party, 249 

Alsace, Otto's family from, 77 

America, South, liberation of by de 
Miranda, 309 

American Historical Association, "An- 
nual Report" of, quoted, 31 

Amiens, Peace of, 195 Otto and, 32 

Amusements, see Assemblies, Card Play- 
ing, Chess, Concerts, Dancing, 
Drama, Draughts (checkers), Music, 

Andre", Captain John, 23, 63, 73, 87 

Annapolis, life at, described by Arthur 
Lee, 174 

Archer, Mr., 17 

Architecture, 15, 16, 17, 55, 68$ ex- 

emplified in Westover, 305-3095 
President's House, 229-230$ entry- 
staircase feature of, 230 

Arian (preacher), Nancy desires to 
hear, 180 

Armstrong, General, 213, 287 

Armstrong, Mrs., Peggy at Lebanon 
Springs with, 282 

Army, Continental, 17, 22, 35, 36, 60, 
89$ Andre's plot against discovered, 
87$ burial place of soldiers of, 75$ 
Colonel Livingston an officer of, 73 $ 
Colonel Wilkinson, Clothier-General 
of, 915 Dr. William Shippen the 
younger plans for organization of 
hospital for, 36-375 equipment and 
supplies revealed under military 
terms, 745 headquarters at Byrd 
house in Philadelphia, 685 head- 
quarters at South Third Street, Phil- 
adelphia, 71$ Henry Beekman Liv- 
ingston transferred to, 73, 117$ 
Light Horse Harry (Henry) Lee of- 
fers horses to, 63-64$ movements of, 
revealed, 74; plans for reconstruc- 
tion of, 89 

Army, French, costume of, 89 

Arnold, Mrs. Benedict, daughter of 
Judge Edward Shippen, Tory branch 
of family; see Shippen, Peggy (Mrs. 
Benedict Arnold) 

Arnold, General Benedict, 22, 68-69, 
7i> 73-74> 87-88, 90 

"Arte Poetica, de" of Horace, quoted, 

Art, 213, 2205 Italian, 309$ see also 

Artists, Jukes, 32$ Peale, 240$ Trott, 



Benjamin, 2,0$ Trumbull, 32; Vieth, 
32; Wright, Joseph, 20, 154 

Arts, Domestic, see Shippen, Nancy, 
domestic arts of 

Assemblies, begin at 6 P.M., 142$ de- 
scribed by Chastellux, 90-91; mas- 
ter of ceremonies at, 915 Nancy at- 
tends an, 228} resemble an Italian 
conversazzioni, 90 

Astronomy, Arthur Lee's references to, 
25 3; Nancy attends Dr. Moyse's lec- 
tures on, 227; Otto's interest in, 224 

Autograph signatures, see Copy of Rec- 
ord of the Marriage of M. Otto, 

Aviation, attempts at, in the eighteenth 
century, 206 

Baby-linnen (linen), ordered from 
France, 237 

Bache, Mr., 308 

Baden, Grand Duchy of, see Kork 

Ball, subscription, described by Chastel- 
lux, 90-91; supper served at mid- 
night at, 93; time of, 166 

Ballads, 18, 311 

Ball Family (of Virginia), kinsmen of 
the Lees, 54 

Balloon, ascension of, 206 

Balloon hat, Nancy wears a, 219 

Baltimore, Maryland, no, 2x8-219 

Barclay, Mr., 62 

Barge, Nancy crosses river in, 191$ of 
General Knox, 191$ of General 
Washington, 156 

Barthold, M. de, 227 

Bartram, John, botanist, gardens of, 
50, 213; Nancy visits gardens of, 

Batchelor, Dr., Peggy refuses to have 
her tooth drawn by, 295 

Battles, Brandywine, 37; Quaker Hill, 
74; Quebec, 68$ Saratoga, 68; Ti- 
conderoga, 68; Yorktown, 125 

Battles at the tea-table between Whig 
and Tory ladies, 77 

Bayard Family, 55 

Beau, of the eighteenth century, com- 
pared to a butterfly, 222, 225 

Beekman, Henry (judge of Ulster 
county, and father of Margaret 
(Beekman) Livingston), 115 

Belinda, see "Rape of the Lock" 

Belmont, home of Mrs. Peters, 204 

Belvidera, played by Mrs. Siddons, 245 

Bendon, Mr., 219 

Benson, Mr., member of Congress, 271 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 42, 62, 289 

Bible, Chronicles, 253; Exodus mis- 
quoted by Nancy, 167; Kings, 253; 
Peggy Livingston reads the, 282; 
quoted by Nancy, 149; Thomas Lee 
Shippen quotes, 246 

Bibliography, 316-320 

Bingham Family, 54, 55 #> 95> M, 
249, 250; Arthur Lee praises Mrs. 
Bingham, 253; Ball at French Lega- 
tion on occasion of marriage of Wil- 
liam, 91 

Blackstone, Sir William, Commentaries 
on the Laws of England, quoted, 311 

Blackwell, Rev., preaches on Exodus 
(20:8), 167 

Blackwell Family, 54 

Blair, Rev., Nancy reads sermons of, 
176, 204 

Blair Family, 175, 181, 183, 193, 211 

Bland, Colonel Theodorick, 236; enter- 
tains Arthur Lee, Chastellux, M. de 
Damas, Mr. Izard, and M. de 
Noailles at tea, 90 

Bland, Mrs. Theodorick, the younger 
(Martha Dangerfield Bland, of 
Cawsons, Virginia), 102**.; attends 
play at college with Nancy, Mr. 
Marbois, Louis Otto and Don Fran- 
cisco, 102; describes social life in 
Virginia, 236; letter regarding ball 
at French Legation, 93 j letter to her 
sister-in-law, Frances (Bland) Tuck- 
er (Mrs. St. George Tucker), of 
Williamsburg, 102; letters to Nancy, 
232, 235-236; letters of, referred to, 
229 ; opinion of Chevalier de la Lu- 
zerne, 78; opinion of French diplo- 
matic representatives, 236; opinion 
of Louis Otto, 236; popular hostess 
of Philadelphia, 78; quotes Shake- 



speare in a letter, 102$ sister of, 935 

visited daily by Colonel Dubysson, 93 
Blerancourt, Musee de, 32 
Blind Philosopher, the, see Moyse, Dr. 
Bond Family, 182, 243, 249 
Bond Street (London), toy woman in, 

Booth, Dr., of Frederick, Maryland, 

Thomas Lee Shippen at Academy of, 

59> 95 
Boston, 2ox 

Boston Port Bill, Lees for repeal of, 57 
Boswell, James, friend of William and 

Arthur Lee, 52 
Bradford, Miss, Colonel Livingston to 

commence suit against, 270 
Bradford, Mrs., humiliates Nancy, 216, 


Brandywine, 37 
Breckinridge, Mr., 66 
Bride's visit, 216, 219 
British, surrender of, at Yorktown, 

125$ troops in Philadelphia, 69; 

welcome of, by Nancy's kinsmen, 63 
Broadway, New York City, Mr. 

Duer's home in, 189 
Browns, the Miss, 57 
Brunswick, New Jersey, Nancy break- 
fasts in, 189, 192 
Burgoyne, General, 68 
Burk, Nicolaus de St. Thoma, pastor of 

St Peter's Catholic church, New 

York, 312 
Burney, Fanny, friend of William 

and Arthur Lee, 52 
Burnt House Fields, see Matholic 
Burr, Aaron, Attorney General of New 

York, Arthur Lee refers Nancy to 

as lawyer, 273 
Burr & King, lawyers in New York, 

Burrows, Maria, letter to Nancy, 

quoted, 299 

Bushfield, Westmoreland County, Vir- 
ginia, home of Bushrod Washington, 

18, 3x0 
Byrd, Colonel William, III, and Lord 

Dunmore, 59 j at first a Tory, 595 

commits suicide, 59 j in the Conven- 
tion, 59 

Byrd, Mary (Powel), wife of Wil- 
liam Byrd III, 55 

Byrd, Mary (Willing), 55 *., 59, 69 
Byrd Family, in Philadelphia, 54 
Byrd mansion, 55 ., 68$ as British 
headquarters, 63; see also Westover 

Canadian Campaign, 73 

Card playing, 143, 167, 169, 175, 177, 
178, 215, 243, 244 

Carpenter's Mansion, in Philadelphia, 
also called John Dickinson's House 
and the Old Graeme House, later the 
French Legation, additions to, 75- 
765 as a military graveyard, 75$ 
closed during British occupation, 75 $ 
description of Legation gardens, 78; 
used as hospital for French Legation, 

75> 7* 

Carters, of Virginia, kin of Lees, 54 

"The Castle," see Green Spring 

Cato, referred to, 230 

Cawsons (Virginia), mentioned, 231, 
235, 236$ Mrs. Theodorick Bland 
the younger, of, 102**. 

Cervantes, Miguel de, reference to 
work of, 224, 310 

Chaillot, 144, 1 60, 197, 204, 210 

Chair, Nancy travels in, 1925 travel 
by, 309 

Challiot, see Chaillot 

"Chancellor" Livingston, see Living- 
ston, Chancellor Robert 

Chantilly (Virginia), home of Richard 
Henry Lee, xxo*., 238} home of 
young Thomas and Ludwell Lee, 94; 
the Shippers go to, no 

Chariot, Nancy calls for, 180, 200 

Chastellux, Frangois Jean, Marquis de, 
19$ entertained at Shippen House, 
31$ has tea with Nancy, 94 j on the 
European fashion in marriage, 92$ 
major-general, 895 opinion of Amer- 
ican women, 3095 opinion of Phila- 
delphia society, 945 "Travels in 
North America," quoted, 31, 7^ 77, 
78, 80, 90, 92-93* 94* 3<>9 



Chaumont, M. de, 276 

Chess, playing, 121, 144, 156, 215$ 
Arthur Lee beats Mrs. Montgomery 
at, 214; Nancy beaten by General 
Gates, 215; Nancy caught playing 
on Sunday, 182* Nancy plays Bush- 
rod Washington, 142, 170, 174 

Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 16, 75, 


Cheveaux de Prize (on the Delaware 
River), British fleet below, 65 

Chew Family, 55, 55 *., 243* M 

Chimere, La, frigate of, 69 

Christian, Edward, editor of Black- 
stone's "Commentaries," 311 

Church, 139, 172, 193, 197, 198, 202 

Clarissa Harlowe, Nancy reads letters 
of, 171, 178 

Clark, Mrs., reproves Nancy for play- 
ing chess on Sabbath, 182 

Cleander (unidentified friend of 
Nancy's), 141, 141 ., 155, 186 

Clifton, home of Mrs. Stewart, 202 

Clermont Manor, 28, 71, 114, 116, 
117, 126, 129, 133, 157, 158, 164, 
250, 279, 281, 282, 284, 286, 288, 
299; Arthur Lee at, 214; burned by 
the British, n6j description of, 126$ 
rebuilt, 1x6; size of, 114; venerable 
locusts at, 126$ view of, 115 

Clinton, Sir Henry, 63, 87 

Coachman, falls off coach while drunk, 

Colexnan, Mr. and Mrs. George P., 
1 02 n. 

College, students of, give a play in 
Philadelphia, 102 

Columbia County, New York, Grand 
Jury of, 279 

Common people, interest in, 206, 2x1* 

Concerts, at the French Legation, 102; 
concluded by song in praise of Gen- 
eral Washington, i66j Nancy goes 
to, 2225 Nancy not dressed in time 
for, 2i5s time of beginning, 222 

Congress, United States, see Congress, 

Congress, Continental, 174, 2155 a P- 


points R. H. Lee on committee to 
receive Gerard, 69; extract from 
letter to, 88 j first, 57, 755 first sec- 
retary of, see Thomson, Charles 5 
first sessions of, 38$ first statesmen 
of, 301 j incentive for gaiety in Phil- 
adelphia, 1145 Lees in favor of end 
of, 575 members of: see Trumbull, 
Jonathan; Wadsworth, Jeremiah 5 
Benson, Mr. 5 Duane, Mr.; receives 
M. Gerard, 79$ rewards Captain 
Livingston, 735 secretary of, reads 
letter from King of France, 70$ 
status in Europe, 67 

Constitutional Convention (1787), Ar- 
thur Lee asks news of, from Nancy, 

Copy of the Record of the Marriage 
of M. Otto and Mile, de Creve- 
C02ur, 312 

Corbin Family, 51, 2495 Peckatone 
home of, 51, 94 

Cornwallis, Lord, 35, 125, 247 

Correspondence between the sexes dis- 
countenanced, 1 8, 191, 311 

Country, dullness of, 198, 2205 head- 
dress proper in, 725 Nancy's dislike 
of, 28, 205, 206, 208, 209; party 
in, 308 

Court End (section of Philadelphia), 

Court of Common Pleas, attachment 
of Nancy in, 291 

Court, Superior, of New York, Richard 
Morris the judge of, 293 

Cox, Mr., general for Madam Liv- 
ingston's estates, 288 

Coxe (Cox) Family, 143, 183, 184, 
185, 244, 249, 270, 271, 285, 288, 
296, 308, 311 

Craig, Mrs., 239, 242, 245 

Craik, Dr., personal physician of Wash- 
ington, 207, 207 n. 

Crevecoenr, Fanny (America Francisca 
de St. Jean de, daughter of the Che- 
valier de St. Jean Crevecceur, French 
consul to New York, New Jersey 
and Connecticut), 277, 2945 auto- 
graph signature of, 3x25 copy of 


marriage record of, 3-3*3} hi 
social position of, 293$ marriage to 
Louis Otto, 292 

Crevecceur, M. le Comte Louis de, 
great-great-nephew of Louis Otto, 
32, 312 

Crevecoeur, Michaele Guillaume Joanne 
de St. Jean de, knight (French con- 
sul to New York, New Jersey and 
Connecticut), 292$ autograph signa- 
ture on marriage record, 312$ con- 
sent to marriage of daughter with 
Louis Otto, 3125 distinguished 
scholar and French officer, 293$ 
French consul, 277 

Currency, depreciation of, affects Phil- 
adelphia families, 103$ humorous 
reference to, 103$ see also Williams- 
burg, bank notes, and Shippen, Dr, 
William, younger, financial difficul- 
ties of 

Cutting, Dr., 62, 207, 229 

Cyder (cider) mulled, 169 

Damas, Comte de, at tea with Nancy, 
94) visits Colonel Bland, 90 

Dance floor, built at the French Lega- 
tion, 171 . 

Dances, Clintoits Retreat, 915 Defeat 
of Burgoyne, 91$ Success of tke 
Campaign^ 91 

Dances, Country, customs at, 92-93$ 
emblem of legislation, 92$ emblem 
of marriage, 92$ lively, 93 j privi- 
leges of strangers at, 92 j relation 
to politics, 91 

Dancing, 91, 92, 171, 172, 173, 174* 
176, 178, aitf, 227, 24* 

Darnes, Comte de, 895 dances with 
Mrs. Bingham (Nancy Willing), 92 

Dauphin of France, birthday ball for, 
171, 171-172**.; Nancy composes a 
poem on the birth of, 8 z 

Dayton, General, Nancy visits, 192 

Deane, Silas, signer of Treaty of Al- 
liance witi France, 22 

Defeat of Burgoyne, see Dances, Coun- 

Defcfoxest, Catherine (Catherina) at 

Louis Otto's marriage, 283, 284, 

293, 312 

Delany, Dalainy, 183, 311 
Delaware River, 53, 1445 French 

fleet in, 67 

Desk (escritoire), of Nancy, 255 
Dickinson, Colonel John, 38, 75 j house 

of, 75-76 
Dill, Sally, 237 

Dinner, time of, in Philadelphia, 91 
Director-General of Military Hospi- 

tals of the Continental Army, see 

Shippen, Dr. William, the younger 
"Dish of tea," expression used, 199 
Divorce, application to legislature 

necessary for, in New York, 2675 

Nancy and lawyer's advice on, 291 5 

Nancy unable to obtain, 287 
Documents, historic, probably prepared 

in Carpenter's Mansion, 76 
Doll (Peggy Livingston's), 164, 167, 

286, 288; description of, 254-255; 

Peggy prefers dog to, 281 
Domestic arts, clear starching, 181$ 

making sweetmeats for winter, 

204; millinery, 72, 182, 215; needle- 

work, 36, 37, 40, 41, 141, 147, ao8 j 

pickling, 72 j preserving, 72, 212 
Don Quixote, characters referred to, 


Drama, of Otway, 245-246 
Draughts (checkers), 121 
Dress (x8th century), 20, 22, 40, 42, 

71, 72, 83, 89, 92, 123, 142, 154, 

193, 219, 244, 254, 286 
Dressing, time spent in, by women, 

171, 219 
Drinker, Elizabeth, Journal of, quoted, 

65, 88 
Duane, Mr., a lively dancer, 93 j mem- 

ber of Congress, 93 
Duke, Mr., 175 
Dubysson, Colonel, a gallant, 93$ aid 

to Baron de Kalb, 895 daily visits 

to Martha Bland, 93$ wounded, 93 
Duchoquetez, Christopher Mantel, at 

Louis Otto's marriage, 293 
Duer, Colonel William, 122, 181, 



189, 2ioj married to Kitty Sterling, 

156 . 

Duer, Lady Kitty, 156, 156 #. 
DufEeld, Mr. Nancy hears him speak, 


Damas, M. de, 89 
Dunmore, Lord, 59 
Dangerfield, Martha, see Bland, Mrs. 

Delafield, Brigadier General John 

Ross, 115 

Duponceau, Mr., 175, 212 
Dutch Ambassador, see Van Bercles 

Education, works essential to, 37$ "Di- 
rections for a Daughter's Educa- 
tion," 148-149$ Madam Livingston 
and Nancy differ in views on, 278$ 
Nancy's, 24, 37> 39> 4> 4i-43> 7*> 
143; Nancy's pamphlet upon, 262; 
of Thomas Lee Shippen, 39, 435 of 
William Shippen, younger, 52-53$ 
Peggy Livingston's, 261-262, 263- 
264* a77-*78, 279, 281, 282, 283, 

Edwards, Mr., 213 

"Elegy in a Country Churchyard," 
quoted, 310 

Elizabethtown (New Jersey), 40, 192$ 
Nancy dines at, 189, 191 

"Eloisa to Abelard," influence of 
Pope's line in, 98 

Ellson, Mrs., of Fishkill, 156 

Emerald (ring), Nancy loses, 181 

England, 44, 46, 48, 50$ autograph 
of William Penn in history of, 50$ 
commentaries on laws of, 311; mes- 
sage from king of, 685 opinion of 
the state and congress of Pennsyl- 
vania on, 78-795 wrongs inflicted on 
colonies by, 59 

Epitaphs, of Nancy Shippen, 301$ of 
Peggy Livingston, 301 

"Epithalamion," quoted, 99, 128 

Erwin, Mr. and Mrs., 295 

"Essay on Criticism," Peggy Living- 
ston reads Pope's, 286 

Estaing, Count D', fleet of, 66, 67 

Emelia (unidentified friend of Nan- 


cy's), 141, 141 ., 152, 177, 178, 
181, 182, 183, 185, 186 

Europe, Arthur Lee and Mr. Izard 
return from, 905 Mr. Powel a trav- 
eler in, 309$ Otto the future minis- 
ter to courts of, 274$ fashion of 
marriage in, 92, 108, 146$ Mr. 
Bland plans a trip to, 237$ type of 
understanding found in Elizabeth 
Willing Powel, 309 

"Exercise in English," written by 
Louis Otto, 95-96 

Ferry, 189, 202 
m Fifth Street, Philadelphia, 53 
' Fireworks, display of, on Market 
Street, 175, 1965 casualties at, 1755 
described, 197$ vast crowd at, 196 
Fishkills (New York), 156 
Food, 93, 142, 169, 189, 199, 200, 

206, 207, 212, 295 

Footman, Mr. T., and Miss, 173, 182, 

Fourth Street (South), Philadelphia, 
15, 1 6, 54, 56, 58, 74, 82, 232 j 
victorious armies march on, 125 

France, Dauphin of, birthday ball for, 
171, 171-172 n. 

Francis, Mr., greenhouse and gardens 
of, 243 

Francis, Sophia, 308 

Franklin, Benjamin, 22, 3085 home of, 
used by R. H. Lee, 227 

Franks, Moses, at Shippens, 248, 2.49 

France, 274$ American ambassador to, 
71; Alice Lee Shippen sends for 
baby linen to, 1235 ally of America, 
66-67; armies of America and, 
unite in High Mass, 125$ Chancel- 
lor Robert Livingston an ambassa- 
dor to, n6j consul to New York, 
New Jersey and Connecticut from, 
see Crevecoeur, de; diplomats from, 
beloved by American people, 765 
French officers members of illus- 
trious families of, 89; king of, 68, 
312$ M. Gerard's letter from, 705 
Luzerne the new minister to, 755 
opinion of Pennsylvania state and 


congress regarding", 78$ State Papers 
of Moustier, 315 "two petit minis- 
teres" of, 775 Vice-Consul General 
of, has residence in New York (city) , 
3125 Vice-Consul General of, to the 
United States, see Delaf orest, Antoine 

French, all America speaking in 1778, 
66$ first minister, 69, 171; fleet at 
Newport, 31; headquarters at South 
Third Street, Philadelphia, 715 le- 
gation, see Legation; literature, see 
"Gil Bias"; Nancy reads, 181, 227; 
Nancy speaks imperfect, 14.3; on 
Rhode Island shores, 66; State Pa- 
pers of Moustier, collection of, see 
Adams, Henry 

Franking, see Post, the 

Frederick County, Maryland, xox 

Frederick-Town (Frederick), Mary- 
land, 6x; Dr. Booth's Academy at, 

59> 95 

Fall fever, 216 

Gadsden, Mrs., 145 

Gambling, at cards, 215 

Games, Eighteenth century, see Cards, 
Chess, Draughts 

Gangangelli, Nancy reads letters of, 

Gardens, 139, 155, 194, 197, 199, 201, 
202, 2115 illuminated, 155; of 
Stratford Hall described in "Lee of 
Virginia," 24; vegetable, 199, 211 

"Gardens of Colony and State," 240. 

Garden Club, of Virginia, restoration 
of Stratford gardens by, 24 

Garrick, David, 102 

Gates, General Horatio, beats Nancy at 
chess, 215; brings Nancy letters from 
Mrs. Tillotson, 213; wins three dol- 
lars from Nancy at cards, 215 

Genesis, book of, quoted, 246 

George I (King of England), 1x3 

George III (King of England), arms 
of, thrown down during the Revolu- 
tion, 17 

Georgia, 129; Colonel Livingston 
threatens to take all his family to, 

286, 288; Mr. Howley governor 
of, 90 

Geography, study of, 220, 242 

Gerard, Conrad Alexander, first dip- 
lomatic agent to the United States, 
69; formal presentation as Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the United States, 
69; recalled as minister to France, 

Germantown, 36; Dr. William Ship- 
pen and wife move to, 298; Lafay- 
ette plans to go to, 94; Nancy and 
mother at, 203; Nancy at, 281 

"Gil Bias," Thomas Shippen reads to 
Nancy from, 147 

Girodie, Andre*, curator Musee de 
Blerancourt, 32 

Gibbons, Edward, Nancy reads "De- 
cline and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire" by, 183 

Goethe, Wolfgang von, Nancy reads 
"Sorrows of Wert[h]er" by, 185 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 37 

Gordon, Colonel, 65 

Graeme, Dr. and Mrs., 38 

Graeme House, Old, see Carpenter's 

Green Spring, Virginia, 45, 52 

Greene, General, 74 

Greenhouse, of Mr. Francis, 243 

Grand tour, Thomas Lee Shippen to 
take, 232 

Graveyard literature, see "Elegy in a 
Country Churchyard," epitaphs 

Gray, Thomas, "Elegy in a Country 
Churchyard," quoted, 310 

Grymes (of Virginia), kinsmen of the 
Lees, 54 

Guitar ("guittar"), 177; Nancy takes 
lessons on, 2275 Nancy plays the, 72, 


Guy's Hospital (London), William 
Shippen, the younger, a student at, 

Habeas corpus, writ of, for Peggy, 

Hackensack, New Jersey, 156 



Hamilton, Alexander, entertained at 

Shippen House, 23 
Hamilton Family, 55, 14.2, 301, 3085 

Woodlands estate of Andrew, 50 
Hanover Square, New York, 239 
Harp, 79, 94, 126 
Harpsichord, 30, 72, 84, 85, 94, 126, 

164, 184, 185, 300 
Harrison, Mr. G., 211, 249, 251 
Harrowgate Springs, 234 
Hartford, Connecticut, Chevalier de la 

Luzerne and Lafayette in, 88 
Hats, fashions of, 245, 251-253 
Haywood, Mr. and Mrs., 41 
Heads or pillars, slang expression used, 

Herbs, wild, gathered and sold by the 

poor, 212 

Herd (Hurd), General, 156 
Herschell, Mr., telescope of, 253 
Hervey, James, Nancy reads Medita- 
tions Of, 194, 195, 211 
High Mass, armies of America and 

France unite in, 125 
Highwaymen hold up Nancy and 

Louisa in their coach, 205 
Hill Family, 55 

Hiltzheimer, Jacob, diary of, 206 n. 
Hindman, Mr., 265 
Hodge, Mrs., 2x1 
Hollingsworth, Mr. T., 172, 173, 175, 

176, 177 
Home, Anne, wife of Sir John Hunter, 

5*> 55> 5*> *53 5 Nancy Shippen 

named for, 55 
Home, Dr., in London circle of friends 

of Ludwells, 52 
Horace, quoted, 251 
Horter, Mr. and Mrs., 177 
Hospital, in Philadelphia, 79 
House furnishings, 17, 47, 52, 71, 143, 

184, 230, 300 

Howe, Sir William, 22, 39, 63 
Howel, Mr., 27* 

Howley, Mr., governor of Georgia, 90 
Huckleberries, picking of, 206 
Hudson River valley, British destruc- 
tion of property in, 1165 price of 

a good farm on, 2655 Rhinebeck on, 


112, 1135 the key to West Point, 74 

Hull, Colonel and Mrs., 191, 197 

Hundred, Virginia, 15 

Hunter, Dr. John, William Lee attends 
anatomical lectures of, 53 

Hunter, Dr. and Mrs., elegant enter- 
tainments of, 254 

Hunter, Lady (John), see Home, Anne 

Hyndshaw's Academy, 283 

Ingersoll, Jared, 222, 273, 291 

Illuminations, 175, 197 

Impost, paid on hat by Arthur Lee, 

Independence, Declaration of, signed 

by Richard Henry Lee and Francis 

Lightfoot Lee, 22 

Independence Hall, Philadelphia, 69, 70 
Inner Temple, 15, 232, 244 
Izard, Mr., 90 

Jackson, Major, 201, 242, 248 

James, Dr., 205, 222 

James River, 15, 45, 305 

Jamestown, Virginia, 52 

Jay Family, intermarriages with Liv- 
ingston family, 113 

Jefferson, Thomas, at marriage of 
Louis Otto, 292-293, 312$ enter- 
tained at Shippen House, 23$ letter 
to, from Richard Henry Lee, 67$ 
signature on record of Louis Otto's 
marriage, 312 

Jervey, Mrs., 143 

Jesuit order, buys grant, 56 

John Dickinson's House, see Carpen- 
ter's Mansion 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, friend of Arthur 
Lee, 52 

Jones, Miss, 37, 41 

Jones, Mr. (of Europe), 175 

Jones, Mr., 143 

Jones, Mrs., at tea with Nancy, 212 

Josephus, Flavins (Jewish historian), 

Journal Book (Nancy's), 294$ descrip- 
tion of Volume I, 25, 26$ descrip- 
tion of Volume II, 27$ entries omit- 
ted by editor, 170; final entry in. 


294$ gap in, 2225 key to, 133-135 J 
leaf torn from, 229$ Nancy begins 
the writing of, 129$ Nancy's omis- 
sion of a week in, 217$ resumes 
writing in, 233, 255 

"Journal of Elizabeth Drinker," 
quoted, 88 

Jukes, miniature of Otto, 32 

Kalb, Baron de, 89, 93 

Kean, John, 289, 293, 312 

Kean, Susanna, 293, 312 

Keith, Sir William, 38 

King, Burr &, lawyers in New York, 


King, Mr. and Mrs., 249 
King's Highway, Virginia, 46 
Knox, General Henry, 23, 28, 191, 

197, 198 j letter to Nancy, 193 
Knox, Mrs. (Henry), 122-123 
Kork (in Grand Duchy of Baden), 

birthplace of Otto, 77 

Lafayette, Marquis de 19, 31, 33, 90; 
at tea at Colonel Eland's, 90$ at tea 
with Nancy, 94$ entertained at Ship- 
pen House, 31$ in Hartford, Con- 
necticut, 885 plans to go to Ger- 
mantown and Whitemarsh, 94 

Lancaster (Pennsylvania), 41; Coun- 
cil of Six Nations at, 49, 50 

Lanning, see Linen 

Lansdown[e], Lord, elegant entertain- 
ments of, 254 

La Rochefoucauld, Frangois Alexandra 
Frederic, Duke (French philanthro- 
pist), quoted, 91 

Laws, of New York limit Chancellor's 
power to orphans, 272; none for 
protection of women from slander, 
see Blackstone 

Lauzan, Duke de, 89 

Lebanon Springs, New York, 282 

Lee, Alice, see Shippen, Alice (Lee), 
(Mrs. William Shipper* the younger) 

Lee, Arthur, 23, 28, 46, 5 x, 57, 83, 
90, 93-94? xoi, 206, 207, *ix> *I2, 
229, 261, 262, 265, 266, 284$ ap- 
pointed to Treasury Board, 332$ es- 

say on hat, quoted, 252-253; friend 
of Fanny Burney, Samuel Johnson, 
and James Boswell, 52} letters of, 
174, 229, 240-241, 246-247, 250- 
251, 252, 253, 263-264, 267, 273- 
2 74 $ opinion of Livingston family 
life, 214$ signs Treaty of Amity, 
etc., 22; tea set sent to Peggy, 215 

Lee, Charles, 23 

Lee, Edmund Jennings, his "Lee of 
Virginia" referred to, 24 

Lee, Flora (niece of Alice Lee Ship- 
pen), 46 

Lee, Francis Lightfoot, at Reading, 41 j 
at Shippen House, 23; Nancy's fav- 
orite uncle, 22 5 signs Declaration of 
Independence, 22 

Lee, Frank (cousin of Peggy Living- 
ston and of Chantillv), 238 

Lee, Hannah (Ludwell) (Mrs. Gawin 
Corbin), sister of Alice (Lee) Ship- 
pent) So, 51 

Lee, Hannah Ludwell (mother of 
Alice (Lee) Shippen), 45, 46, 47> 

Lee, General Henry (Light Horse 
Harry), 23, 63, 64, 65, 247, 250, 

Lee, Ludwell (son of Richard Henry 
Lee, and Nancy's first cousin), 92, 

94> * 
Lee, Philip Ludwell (Nancy's uncle), 

49> 5i> 53 

Lee, Philip Ludwell II (Nancy's first 
cousin), 46 

Lee, Matilda (Mrs. Henry tee, 
Nancy's first cousin), 15, 46, 198, 
246, 250 

Lee, Richard Bland, Papers in Library 
of Congress, 320 

Lee, Richard Henry (Nancy's uncle), 
46, 57, 58, 615 and Adams receive 
M. Gerard, 70$ at School in Eng- 
land, 51 j at Shippen House, 23, 220$ 
home at Chantilly on Stratford 
Plantation in Virginia, no**.; hon- 
ors paid to, 230$ is R. H. L., 27$ 
leaves New York for health, 239$ 
letter of, quoted, 2385 letter to 



Thomas Jefferson, 675 letters of, 
2293 meets Nancy, 2205 "Memoir" 
of, by his grandson, quoted, 68 n.; 
mentioned in diary of John Adams, 
57$ message to Nancy, 121 j message 
to Nancy after her marriage, 1195 
moving to new house, 2265 on com- 
mittee to receive M. Gerard, 695 
Peggy Livingston the pet of, 301$ 
President of Congress, 226$ sees 
Peggy, 22 7 j signer of Declaration 
of Independence, 22; sons of, 94; 
uncle of Nancy, and mover of reso- 
lution for Declaration of Independ- 
ence, 21, 22 

Lee, Thomas (grandfather of Nancy 
Shippen), 553 acting- governor of 
Virginia, 243 birthplace of, 503 
builder of Stratford Hall, 243 
burial place, 503 daughter Alice Lee 
(Shippen), 243 marriage of daugh- 
ter, 243 to Council of Lancaster, 49, 
503 visit to Philadelphia, 493 will 
of, 51 

Lee, Thomas, younger, of Chantilly, 94 

Lee, William (uncle of Nancy Ship- 
pen), 4*> 5*, 55 5, 57, 83, 3<>8 

Lee collection of Original Letters and 
Documents, see Robert . Lee Me- 
morial Foundation, Inc. 

Lee Family, 28, 51, 71, 94, 113, 301 

Leedstown, Virginia, 60, 6*1 

Legation, Dutch, 19 

Legation, French, 16, 19, 56, 101, 171- 
172 *.; ball at, 91, 92, 933 chapel 
of, 2413 concerts at, 1023 descrip- 
tion of, 793 hospitality of, 78, 1023 
Lafayette, Vicomte de Noailles and 
Comte de Damas at dinner at, 943 
M. Marbois rst secretary of, 308 3 
oratorio at, 1023 view of hospital 
from, 793 view of poorhouse from, 
793 view of prisons from, 793 view 
of Shippen House from, 79 

Legation, Spanish, 19, 56 

Legations, South American, 19, 56 

Legislature, Provincial (of New 
York), Henry Beekman a member 
of, 115 


Lenox, Mrs., 166, 208 

Lewis, Colonel, 263, 284 

Lewis, Peggy, 164 

Liancourt, the Duke de la Rochefou- 
cauld, observations of, on the liberty 
of American women, 91 

Library, of Shippen House, 71 

Library of Congress, catalog of, 313 
letters of Thomas Lee Shippen in, 
243 manuscript collection of Ship- 
pen Papers in, 305, 308, 3205 Rich- 
ard Bland Lee Papers in, 320 

Literary characters, Boswell, James, 
525 Burney, Fanny, 52 

Literature, English, Addison, Joseph, 
373 Blackstone, William, 3113 
Christian, Edward, 3113 Cowper, 
William, 375 Dryden, John, 263- 
2643 Goldsmith, Oliver, 373 Gray, 
Thomas, 3105 Hervey, James, 195, 
2113 Milton, John, 373 Otway, 
Thomas, 245-2463 Pope, Alexander, 
37> 2 53> 2863 Richardson, Samuel, 
171, 1785 Swift, Jonathan, 1813 
Spenser, Edmund, 99, 127, 1283 
Young, Edward, 37, 240, 273 

Literature, French, Maintenon, Ma- 
dame de, 143, 144, 1453 Monte- 
squieu, 2373 Rousseau, 1493 Sage, le, 
1475 St. Evremond, 2305 Voltaire, 


Literature, German, Goethe, 185 
Literature, Greek, Homer, 252 
Literature, Hebrew, Josephus, Flavius, 


Literature, Latin, Horace, 2513 Ter- 
ence, 43 
Literature, Spanish, Cervantes, 224, 

A 10 
Livingston, Anne Home (Hume), see 

Shippen, Nancy 

Livingston, Brockhurst, son of Gov- 
ernor Livingston, 190 

Livingston, Chancellor Robert R., IV, 
brother-in-law of Nancy Shippen 
Livingston, son of Robert R. Ill 
(kter American Ambassador to 
France), 71, 116, 120, 124, 164, 
265, 266, 272, 283, 287, 2883 and 


lady, 1225 and wife sup with Ar- 
thur Lee, 2145 carries letter to 
Nancy, 120 

Livingston, Edward, son of Robert 
R. Ill, and brother of Henry Beek- 
man Livingston, 122, 123, 299$ let- 
ter to, from Henry Beekman Liv- 
ingston, 268 

Livingston, Eliza (Mme. Louis Otto, 
daughter of Peter Van Brugh Liv- 
ingston), 15 5 j Arthur Lee sees, 
214; character of, 191$ correspond- 
ence with Otto, 1915 death of, 255- 
2565 friendship with Nancy, 1915 
in New York, 239$ marriage to 
Otto, 241$ Nancy calls on, 1465 to 
correspond with Nancy, 191 

Livingston, Eliza, child of Otto and 
Eliza (Livingston) Louis, 277 

Livingston, Governor, 190 

Livingston, Harlot (one of illegiti- 
mate children of Henry Beekman 
Livingston), 284 

Livingston, Colonel Henry Beekman 
(Nancy's husband and son of Rob- 
ert and Margaret (Beekman) Liv- 
ingston), 18, 30, 71, xox, 104, 107, 
129, 139, 152, 153, 156, 157, 283; 
a suitor to Nancy, 95 5 accuses Nancy 
of infidelity, 1435 aide-de-campe to 
General Schuyler, 74 j "amours" of, 
1285 and Louis Otto rivals for 
Nancy's hand, 1015 condemned for 
his conduct to his daughter, 268$ 
asks Nancy to call at his lodgings, 
225$ answers letters of Nancy and 
his mother, 159-1605 calls Nancy 
hard names, 2715 character of, 1575 
characteristics of, 74; distinguished 
officer in army, 73 j gives consent for 
Nancy to go home, 124$ goes in dis- 
guise, 165, 1 68 j his mother's favor- 
ite son, 1185 his mother's opinion 
of, 2875 in attack on Quebec, 735 
in love with Nancy, 73$ illegitimate 
children of, 1285 imaginary picture 
of, 121$ jealousy of Nancy, 129, 
157, 162, 165$ letters to Nancy, 19, 
225-226, 227-228$ letter to his 

brother Edward declaring Nancy 
perfidious, 2685 malignancy of, 271 j 
Nancy considers a divorce from, 257 j 
Nancy unable to divorce him with- 
out loss of Peggy, 291$ plans to 
gather children under one roof, 129$ 
profligacy of, 117, 125, 2625 pro- 
poses reconciliation to Nancy, 225$ 
raises company for Canadian cam- 
paign, 73 j reconciliation between 
Nancy and, attempted by Otto, 2715 
squanders money on undeserving 
objects, 129$ suspicious of Nancy 
and Otto, 118$ temper of, 116-117, 
ii 8, 157, 265, 270$ tells mother he 
will sue her, 279$ threatens to re- 
move Peggy to Georgia, 286$ to 
name Otto, 271 

Livingston, Joanna, aunt of Peggy 
Livingston, and daughter of Robert 
R. Ill, 282, 284 

Livingston, John, son of Robert R. Ill, 
and brother to Henry Beekman Liv- 
ingston, 2655 ffusrt a t Nancy's party, 

Livingston, Kitty, aunt of Peggy Liv- 
ingston, and daughter of Robert R, 
III, 282, 284$ Arthur Lee sees, 2x4$ 
favorite of Peggy, 214 

Livingston, Peggy (Margaret Beek- 
man Livingston), daughter of Henry 
Beekman Livingston and Nancy 
(Shippen) Livingston, the only le- 
gitimate child of Colonel Living- 
ston, 128, 129, 141, 149, 156, 157, 
159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 168, 
190, 214, 215, 230, 231, 235, 238, 
248, 249, 255, 260, 261, 263, 270, 
272, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 284, 
286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 

Richard Henry Lee, 227, 231$ birth) 
125$ death, 301$ describes, 164-1 65, 
278, 3x0$ education, 148-149, 240, 
263-264, 278-279, 281-282, 283, 
296$ epitaph, 301$ illness from in- 
haling snuff, 150-153$ kissed by 
George Washington, 1665 letters of, 
281-282, 285-286, 294-295$ por- 



trait, 154, 227; receives Livingston 
fortune, 299 

Livingston, Peter Van Brugh, father of 
Eliza Livingston (Mrs. Louis Otto), 

Livingston, Ph., signature of, on rec- 
ord of marriage of Louis Otto, 312 

Livingston, Robert R., I (Scotch pio- 
neer founder of the Livingston fam- 
ily in America, 113 

Livingston, Robert R., Ill, father of 
Robert R. (the Chancellor), and 
Henry Beekman Livingston, and 
Colonial Supreme Court Judge and 
member of the Stamp Act Congress, 
zxi, 115-116 

Livingston, Robert R., IV, "Chancel- 
lor," entertained at Shippen House, 
23 5 lives near Madam Livingston, 
265$ letters of mother have historic 
value, 28 j Peggy the pet of, 301 5 re- 
fuses to intercede for Colonel Liv- 
ingston, 270 

Livingston, Susan, daughter of Gov- 
ernor Livingston, accompanies 
Nancy, 189-190 

Livingston Family, 73, 116, 128; char- 
acteristics of, 113-114, 115$ charac- 
teristics of children of, 2625 de- 
scendants of, 28 j description of 
estate of, 112-1 135 formality in, 
1x7; Hamilton family the friends 
of, 3015 importance of a match 
with, 95$ intermarriages with, 1x3; 
one of first families of the United 
States, 30x5 sentiments of, with re- 
gard to Nancy, 272$ welcome Nancy 
into their family, 117 

Livingston Manor, 18, 71, 113-1 14, 
115, X2i, 155, 240$ canons of, 1285 
contrast with Shippen House, 1x2 

Livingston, Margaixet (Beekman), 
mother of Colonel Livingston and 
wife of Robert III, 27, 28, xn, 1x4, 
115, ix6, 117, 118, 122, 124, 125, 
128, 129, 134, 142, 145, x 4 6, 152, 
I53> 154, 156, 157, I59> **3> i*4> 
165, 166, 167, x68, 171, x8o, 185, 
x86> 190, 191, 230, 161-262, 263, 


264-265, 268, 269, 270-271, 272, 
274, 277, 278, 279, 282-284, 286- 
289, 299 j and Arthur Lee, 214, 2615 
and son, Colonel Livingston, in, 
157, 268-269, 270-271, 279, 286- 
2875 letters of, 117, 164-165, 235, 
246, 247, 248, 261-262, 264-266, 
268-269, 270-271, 272-273, 274, 
277-279, 282-283, 286 

Livingston Manor, 189-190 

Lloyd Family, 55, 61, 114 

Lloyd, Henrietta Maria (Neale), 
Grand-Dame of Maryland, 114 

Lockwood, Mrs. Luke Vincent, 25 n. 

Locust Street, Philadelphia, 15, 16, 49, 

Locusts, at Clermont, 119 

Logan Family, 55 

London, places to dance in, 90; social 
life in, 245; various card games al- 
lowed in, 90 j William Lee, sheriff 
<rf> 57 

Louisa (friend of Nancy), 140, 177, 
182, 184, 189, 196, 197, 198, 200, 
201, 202, 205, 243$ whh Nancy 
when held up, 205 

Louis XVI, 44, 8x, 236 

Loyd, Colonel, see Lloyd 

Lozere, Joseph Claremont Pelet de la 
(son-in-law of Louis Otto), 32 

Ludwell, Hannah, see Lee, Hannah 
Ludwell (Mrs. Gawin Corbin) 

Ludwell, Hannah Phillipa (sister-in- 
law and first cousin of Alice [Lee] 
Shippen), 52 

Ludwell, Lucy Grymes (Mrs. John 
Paradise, first cousin of Alice [Lee] 
Shippen), 52 

Ludwell, Philip HI (uncle of Alice 
[Lee] Shippen), 51-52 

Ludwell Faxnily, of Virginia, 51-54 

Luis, Peggy, see Lewis, Peggy 

Luzerne, Chevalier de la, aides of "dis- 
tributed, 80$ ball of, see Legation, 
French, ball atj Carpenter's Man- 
sion used as French Legation for, 
78; characterization of, 102$ dislike 
of music, 102$ entertains Lafayette, 
Vicomte de Noailles and Comte de 


Daxnas at dinner, 94$ French min- 
ister to America, 75$ honors Mrs. 
Morris, 93$ hospitality of, 78; in 
Hartford, 88$ Mrs. Theodorick 
Blond's opinion of, 785 pattern of 
diplomacy of, 76, 77 
Lyons, Mr., 176, 177, 183 

"Macbeth," Nancy quotes, 102, 186 

McCartys, of Virginia, kin of Lees, 54 

McEvens, Miss, 282 

McClenagan, Miss, 286 

McPherson, Mr., 101 

McPrager, Mr., 248 

McQuerters (of Newark), 156 

Magan, Rev., preaches at Saint Paul's, 

Magnolia trees, see Carpenter's Man- 
sion, description of gardens 

MaKean (McKean?), Mrs., 273 

Maintenon, Madame de, Nancy reads, 
143, 144-14-5 

Manager, sec Ceremonies, Master of 

Manheim, 43 

Mansion Avenue (Philadelphia), 301 

Manuscripts, see Lee Collection, etc. 5 
Richard Bland Lee Papers; Robert 
. Lee Memorial Foundation, Inc.} 
Shippen Papers 

Marbois, Barbe" de, First Secretary of 
the Legation from France, 75, 77, 
80, 308; at college play with Nancy, 
1025 ball given by, 228; calls on 
Nancy, 143; chosen intendant, 236$ 
in charge of affairs during absence 
of Chevalier de la Luzerne in Hart- 
ford, 88 j interest of, in Legation 
gardens, 78$ mentioned by Arthur 
Lee, 174; social lion in Philadelphia, 
308$ student of botany, 78 

Marboys, see Marbois 

Marcetine, Captain, reputed the best 
French teacher in America, 283 

Margaret, the yacht, at Stratford 
Landing, 49 

Maria, friend of Nancy, 143, 150, 155, 
162, 168, 177$ and Arthur Lee, 

Maria (Louis Otto), 30 

Market Street, Philadelphia, 175, 196 

"Marquis de La Fayette in the French 
Revolution, The," quoted, 69, 70 

Marriage, European fashion of, 92, 
108, 146 

Marshal, Miss, 269 

Maryland, 49, 1745 position of Hen- 
rietta Maria Lloyd in, 114 

Mass, High, in St. Mary's, Philadel- 
phia, 125 

Massachusetts, 112; Adams family po- 
sition in, 1 1 3 j bill for altering con- 
stitution of, 57 

Master of Ceremonies, at assemblies, 91 

Matholic, Virginia, Lee ancestral home, 

May Day, customs, 75 

Meade (estate in Virginia), 15 

Mease's Wharf, New York, 252 

Measles, 153 

Medical Service, U. S. Army, begin- 
nings of, see Shippen, Dr. William 
the younger, plan for organization, 

Medicine, 151, 163, 164, 201$ Dr. 
Rush's services to, 252$ first Ameri- 
can lectures in, given by Dr. William 
Shippen the younger, 54$ tobacco 
used as medication, 201$ tea, lime 
juice and sugar given as medicine, 
151$ nitre, 151 

Melpomene, 245 

"Memoir of the Life of Richard Henry 
Lee," quoted, 68, 68 n. 

Mercer, Mr., 215 

Merchants' Ball, honors General Wash- 
ington, 1 66 

Mischutnza, 63 

Mifflin, Mr., 143 

Mifflin, Mrs., 211 

Millinery, Mrs. Shaw makes cap-hat, 
725 Nancy works at, 182, 215 

Milton, John, 37, 141 

"Ministers petit," of France, 77, 102 

Minuet, 72, 172 

Miranda, General Francisco de, 19, 
3095 lends- Voltaire** "Henriade" to 
Nancy, 167$ "The Precursor of 



Spanish-American Independence," 

Mob, at play in Philadelphia, 102 

Montgomery, General Richard (hus- 
band of Janet Livingston, sister to 
Colonel Livingston), 68, 73, no", 

Montgomery, Janet (Livingston), 27, 
1x6, 117, 121, 142, 14-$, 1469 i5 2 
239, 246, 2513 beaten by Arthur Lee 
at chess, 2x4 

Montesquieu, Charles de Scondat, 
Baron de, sends compliments to 
Nancy, 237 

Moore, Leftenant Thomas W., letter to 
Nancy, quoted, 17 

Moore Family, 55, 143, 166, 167, 173, 
174, 182, 200-201 

Moralizing, Nancy's tendencies toward, 

Morgan, Colonel, 65 

Morris, Miss, 24$ 

Morris, Richard, at wedding of Louis 
Otto, 293, 3125 signature on mar- 
riage record of Otto, 312 

Morris, Robert, 55*.; gift of Ma- 
deira to General Washington, 38 

Morris, Mrs. (Robert?), holds ball, 
227$ honored by the Chevalier de la 
Luzerne as wealthiest woman of 
Philadelphia, 93 

Morris Family, 55 n., 249 

Morton, Miss, of Boston, 155 

Morton, Robert, diary of, in Penn- 
sylvania Magazine of History," 39 n. 

Mosloy, Comte de, see Otto, Louis 

Motte, Henri de la, 89 

Mottoes, Family, of Lees, non incatitus 
futuri, 715 of Shippens, vigilarts, 71 

Mount Peace, 160, 176, 177, 178, 183, 
1 8 6, 194, 200, 2x0 

Mount Pleasant, Philadelphia, 74 

Moustier, Henry Adams' collection of 
French State Papers of, see Adams, 

Moyse, Dr., 228, 242 

Music, eighteenth century, mentioned, 
139, 142, 144, 166, 167, 169, 177, 

181, 183, 184, 205, 215, 219, 220, 

222, 227, 228, 234, 239, 242, 248, 

249; see also Ballad, Concerts, Gui- 
tar ("Guittar"), Harp, Harpsi- 
chord, Minuet, Mifchiaw&a, Ora- 
torio, Pianoforte, Singing, Spinet, 
Viol, Violin 

Needlework, 139, 141, 147* x ^ > l8 3> 

Needwood Academy (Forest of Need- 
wood), 39, 43, 59i ** 

New Jersey, college of, see Princeton 

New Jersey, French consul to, see 
Crevecceur, de 

New Tavern, in Philadelphia, 58 

New York, city, 67, 68, 73, 93, 113, 
116, 156 n. y 189, 255, 265, 267, 
279, 287, 292, 3125 Colonel Liv- 
ingston to go to, 290 j deserted in 
1788, 265$ French Squadron in, 67$ 
lawyers of, 267$ Livingston families 
in, 73$ Livingstons influential citi- 
zens in, xi3i known as "Nova 
Eboracentis," 3125 Louis Otto and 
Mile, de Crevecceur married in, 292$ 
Madam Livingston to go to, 288$ 
Manor Livingston in, 1x25 Nancy 
goes with Peggy to, 279$ Nancy 
and Otto meet in, 279; Nancy to 
visit Peggy in, 2925 Peggy Liv- 
ingston returns to, 255 

New York, state, 1x2, 1x3 

Newark, New Jersey, 156, 189 

Newport, Rhode Island, French officers 
return to, 93 

Newburgh, headquarters of Washing- 
ton, 156 

Newport, Rhode Island, French fleet 
arrives at, 31 

"Night Thoughts," Young's, 37 j 
quoted, 273 

Noailles, Comte de, Leftenant-Colonel 
of the Soissonnais, 19, 31, 68, 89, 
91, 92, 94 

Norris, Deborah (Mrs. George Logan), 

Norris Family, 55 



North, Major, 201 

North River, Nancy crosses in General 
Washington's barge, 156$ Nancy's 
future home on, no, in, 112, 113, 

"Nova Eboracentis," see New York 

One Fond Kiss, etc., Ballad of, 311 
Oratorio, at French Legation, 102 
Order, iSth century idea of exempli- 
fied, 173, 220-221 
Otto, Eliza, daughter of Louis and 

Eliza (Livingston) Otto, 256 
Otto, Jacques, brother of Louis Otto, 

Otto, Jacques Guillaume, father of 
Louis Otto, 77 

Otto, Louis Guillaume, Comte de Mos- 
loy, 16, 17, 19, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 
33> 77> 79> 80, 8x, 82, 83, 84, 86, 
87, 88, 89, 92, 93, 94., 95, 99> *> 

102, 103, 104, 105, 107, Tl8, 126, 

7> J 33> *39> J 40, X4*> *5o> *55> 
x6x, 167, 173, I74-, 178, I79> 182, 
200, 203, 209, 224, 233, 257, 258, 
260, 261, 271, 274, 275, 276, 277, 
280, 281, 292, 294, 298$ advises 
Nancy as to conduct, 1615 ambassa- 
dor to Vienna, 19; and Madame 
Crevecceur, 292, 312-3135 attache, 
first secretary, and charge d'affaires 
of French Legation, 19; attends col- 
lege play, 1023 autograph of, 312; 
birthplace of, 77$ characteristics of, 
2595 Colonel Livingston tries to 
ruin, 269; correspondence of, with 
Eliza Livingston, 191$ composes, 805 
daughter born to, 2563 descendants 
of, 32$ description of, 325 docu- 
ments relating to, see Salanson 5 en- 
graving of profile of, 32$ epistolary 
style of, 191$ escorts Nancy to 
French Legation, loij family of, 
from Alsace, 775 Exercise in Eng- 
lish, 1 8, 95, 965 handwriting of, 
29; Mrs. Bland's opinion of, 236$ 
negotiates marriage of Napoleon I 
and Marie Louise, 19; negotiates 
Treaty of Amiens, 32-33$ name no 

longer appears in Nancy's Journals, 
2935 official conduct in United States, 
3125 philosophical belief, 99-1005 
plays harp, 79, 94, 95, 1265 plays 
viol, 1265 poem, 815 portrait in old 
age, 325 relics of, see Salanson j stu- 
dent of law at Strasbourg, 775 wife 
dies, 2565 wins Nancy's consent, 
1 055 son-in-law of, 325 witness to 
marriage of, 293, 3125 imagination 
of exemplified, 222-2245 in Annap- 
olis, 1745 in New York, 166, 2395 
kisses Peggy Livingston, 1665 
knight of king of France, 3125 
leaves for France, 203 5 letters from 
Nancy to, 222, 223, 2245 letters to 
Nancy from, 29, 81, 83-84, 86, 98, 
105, 203-204, 209, 233, 239, 256, 
262, 271, 274-275, 276-277, 279, 
281, 2925 marriage to Eliza Living- 
ston, 2415 miniatures of, by Jukes 
and Vieth, 325 Menuet of Strasburg, 
80, 127 
Otway, Thomas, see Venice Preserved 

Packet boat, 236 

Pamela, 181 

Paper, native manufacture, 26, 27 

Parliament, of England, 68 

Paradise, John, married to Lucy 
Grymes Ludwell, 52 

Paulus Hook, see Poweles Hook 

Peale, Charles W., exhibition of paint- 
ings by, 240 

Peale Family, 142-143 

Peckatone, home of Hannah Lee Cor- 
bin, 51, 94 

Pemberton Family, 55 

Pendleton, Mr., Chief Justice of Caro- 
lina, 93 

Penmanship, Thomas Lee uses exercises 
in, for illustration of letter, 307 

Penn, Richard, 49 

Penn, Thomas, 49 

Penn, William, 15, 55 .; autograph in 
a history of England, 50 

Penn Family, 249 

Peen grant, 56 

Pennington family, 55 



Pennsylvania (province), 49, 50 

Pennsylvania (state), opinion of Eng- 
land, 78-79$ where sessions held, 78 

"Pennsylvania Magazine of History," 
diary of Robert Morton in, 397*. 

Peters, Mrs., 202, 204 

Petit malted at the balls of the French 
Legation, 93 

Petticoat, of Peggy Livingston's doll, 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 15, 24, 25, 
37, 380., 49> 50> 54*-, 5$> 57> 58, 
59> *i> &b $7> 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 
78, 80, 82, 85, 88, 89, 90, 91, 101, 

103, 104, 110, III, 112, 1X9, 122, 

1*4, I33> *34, 155) I57> 158, 160, 
161, 170, 171, 174, 187-188, 192, 
242, 244, 246, 248, 249, 251, 252, 
*57> 263, *7<b 275, *79> *84> 287, 
288, 296, 298, 300, 308, 310$ atti- 
tude of people on Sunday, 795 Brit- 
ish occupation of, 23, 65, 75$ cap- 
ital, seat of official life, art, industry 
and wealth, 23, 535 characteristics 
of buildings of, 795 dearth of con- 
certs, opera, comedies, hunting, 
promenades and picture galleries in, 
78 j British leave, 445 first mayor 
f } 535 formality of society in, 945 
French occupation of, 92-935 gayety 
of, 63, 102, 114, 274$ historic 
houses of, 55 ,, 74, 765 hospital 
in, 795 in the eighteenth century, 
description of, 535 inauguration of 
college in, 545 interest in a play at, 
102$ Marquis de Chastellux 9 opinion 
of society in, 94; mayor of, 309 \ 
poorhouse of, 79 j prominent fam- 
ilies of, 55 j references to, see Chas- 
tellux, Marquis des rejoices at sur- 
render of Yorktown, 1255 seized by 
the British, 39$ shops closed in, 40$ 
site of first medical school in Amer- 
ica, 54; streets: Chestnut, 16$ 
Fourth (South), 15, 16$ Locust, 15, 
1 65 Mansion Avenue, 301$ Market, 
i75> 196$ Prune, or Pruune, 49, 58$ 
Seventh, i6- 9 Sixth, i6j Spruce, 49, 
82$ Willing Alley, 5$$ time of din- 


ing in, 91 5 troops in, 69 j under com- 
mand of Benedict Arnold, 68 5 Wash- 
ington Square named for General 
Washington, 755 wealth takes prece- 
dence in, 93 j wise men of the west 
(Congress) in, 264 

Pianoforte, Dr. Moyse plays, 242$ 
Nancy plays, 242$ Nancy's, 40 

Pinckney, Mr. and Mrs. (Miss Stead), 

Picquet, game of, 143, 219 

Pitt, William, the younger, 248 

Plater, Miss, 174 

c< Poem on the Birth of the Dauphin, 
A," Nancy writes, 81 

Pollard, Mr., 248 

Poorhouse, Philadelphia, 79 

Poor families, 199, 211-2125 life of, 
described, 199; Arthur Lee leaves 
money for, 212 

Pope, Alexander, 37, 253, 286 

Post (mail), 103, 163, 262, 308 

Pot hook and (pot-) hangers, see Pen- 
mans hip 

Potowmack, River, view of, from 
Stratford Hall, 47 

Powles Hook (Paulus Hook), 189 

Postscripts, to letters, unfashionable in 

*793> *95 

Poughkeepsie, 156 

Powel, Elizabeth (wife of Samuel, and 
friend of Martha Washington), 29, 
55> 17*, 309 

Powel, John and Samuel, trustees of 
Peggy Shippen, 74 

Powel Mansion, 55 0. 

Poyter, Mr., 177 

Prager, Mr., 213 

President, of the United States, 70 

President's House (New York home of 
Richard Henry Lee while President 
of Congress), description and loca- 
tion of, 227, 229-230 

Price, Mrs., 123 

Princeton, New Jersey, 36, 156, 189, 

Princeton University, William Shippen 
the younger at, 52 


''Proper distribution of the 24 hours, 

A," Nancy plans, 220-221 
"Prothalamion," quoted, 127 
Proverbs ( Bpod of) 2:11 quoted, 

1495 Pegg^reads, 282 
Prune Street (Pruune), Philadelphia, 

49 58 

Pulaski, General, 63 
Purviance, Mr., 213 

Quaker Hill, Rhode Island, battle of, 


Quakers, 41, 79 
Quebec, Arnold and Montgomery he- 

roes at, 68$ attack on, 73$ Bill, see 

Bill, Quebec^ Henry Livingston on 

expedition to, 117 
Quebec Bill, Lees for repeal of, 57 
Queen Street (New York), 189$ Mrs. 

Robert Livingston's home on, 189 
Queensware china, Alice Lee's, 71 
Quidvis (country home of the Ship- 

pens), described, 194 

Radclift, Mrs., 122 

Randolph and Tucker, letters of, in 

<c Virginia Magazine of History and 

Biography," xo2. 

"Rape of the Lock," referred to, 253 
Rappahannock River, Virginia, 60 
Reading, of Peggy Livingston, 282, 

286, 296 
Reading (aloud), 141, 147, x68> 172, 

Reading, Pennsylvania, 41 

Red Pocketbool^ of Thomas Lee Ship- 

pen, 231 

Reinagle, Mr., 249 
Religion, Nancy's, 159, 175, 176, 182, 

208, 2 % xx, 2x3, 214, 2x8, 294, 298) 

becomes religious melancholy, 298$ 

solace of Nancy in, 294 
Republican Court, New York called, 

156 n. 
Revolution, American, 15, 17, 22, 23, 

57, 68, 88, 1x6, 125, 309 
Revolution, American, financing of, see 

Willing 1 , Thomas 

Revolutionary patriots, headquarters of 

Virginia, 49 
Rhinebeck, on the Hudson, 1x2, 1x3, 

1x4, 1x8, 119, i2x, 129, 284 
Richardson, Samuel, see Clarissa Har- 

Rhode Island, 66; army of Rocham- 

beau anchored off, 89 
Rideout, Miss, belle of Annapolis, men- 
tioned by Arthur Lee, 174 
Riding, mentioned, 140, 142, 152, 155, 

183, 197, 200, 205, 2xx, 2x6, 217, 

Ridley, Mr. and Mrs. (K. Livingston) , 


Rittenhouse, Dr., 224 

Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, 
Inc., collection of original letters 
and documents, 320 

Robinson, Mrs., 183 

Rochambeau, Comte de, 31, 33, 88, 89 

Rock, Baron le a 269, 272$ learning of 
his wife, 2695 of a noble family in 
Germany, 269 

Ross, Miss P., 255 

Rogers, Mrs., School for Young 
Ladies, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 4*> 4*> 
43> 44> 5> 62, 635 in Trenton, 247 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, Nancy quotes 
from, 149 

Rutherford, Mrs., 174 

Rural day, at Chaillot, 144 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, member of Con- 
tinental Congress, signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, 252 

Rutledge, Miss > 945 Mr., 249 5 Mrs., 

Sabbath, observance of, 79, 173, 182, 
2X1, 213$ Nancy not allowed gen- 
tlemen callers on, 173 

St. Evremond, de, Thomas L. Shippen 
quotes, 230 

St. Mary Le Strand, Middlesex, Eng- 
land, 53 

St. Mary's, Philadelphia, Catholic 
church of, 56, 125 

St. Patrick's Day, Thomas Lee Ship- 
pen's birthday on, 248 



St Paul's, Philadelphia, Mr. Magan 
preaches at church of, 139 

St. Peter's, New York, Catholic church 
of, 312, 313 

Salanson, M. Louis, his collection of 
de Mosloy portraits, relics, docu- 
ments and souvenirs at the Musee 
de Blerancourt, France, 32 

Saratoga, Battle of, 68 

Sarmento, Mrs., 240 

Schermerhorne, Peter, 271 

Science, eighteenth century, pseudo- 
science, 242$ interest in astronomy, 

Schuyler, General, 74 

Schuyler Family, intermarriages with 
Livingstons, 113 

Schuylkill Falls, ice jam at, 182 

Schuylkill River, 50 

Secon, Second, Mr., 177, 181 

Seton, William, at marriage of Louis 
Otto, 293, 312 

Shaw, Mrs., 72 

Sheba, Queen of, 253 

Shift, 288; for a doll, 254$ Peggy 
Livingston makes, 285; Peggy Liv- 
ingston makes for a poor woman, 


Shippen, Mrs. A. H(arriet)., see 
Shippen, Alice Lee (Mrs. William 
Shippen the younger) 

Shippen, Anne, Mrs. Charles Willing, 
known as "Aunt" Willing, and sister 
of Dr. William Shippen the elder, 
54 * 

Shippen, Alice (Lee), Mrs. William 
Shippen the younger, mother of 
Nancy Shippen and Thomas Lee 
Shippen, 15, 24, 45> 4* 3 47> 48, 49> 
51, 52, 60, 83, 109, in, 122-123, 
133, 141, 142, 143, 144, 151, 152, 
I53 154, i55> IS*> *6o, 163, 165, 
166, 1 68, 169, 170, 172, 173, 186, 
197, 208, 2 ix, 237; advises Nancy 
on child-rearing, 1405 affection for 
Nancy weakened, 269$ approves 
Nancy's marriage with Otto, 102; 
wishes Thomas not to hate Tories 
or Britons, 2495 at Chaillot, 2045 


at Germantown, 203 j at Harrowgate 
Springs, 234; believes self about to 
die, 1 80, 195$ blind in old age, 299$ 
born at Stratford Hall, 24 j char- 
acterization of, 57$ causes of de- 
pression in, 237$ closest friend of, 
52; cookbook of, used for Nancy's 
journal, 26; date of marriage, 535 
death in 1817, 2995 death of infant 
son, 39$ description of, 83-84$ dif- 
fers from husband on Nancy's mar- 
riage with Otto, 102-103, 1085 does 
not allow Nancy gentlemen callers 
on the Sabbath, 173; does not wish 
family to wear mourning, 195; fails 
to defend Peggy Livingston, 272$ 
fear of expanse, 273; financial loss 
on account of the Revolution, 61 ; 
happy with her family, 95$ im- 
proved health of, 235, 249$ illness, 

39, 176-177* *79> x*i *9*> ^93) 
194, 195; in Philadelphia for synod 
meeting, 1985 infirmities of, 269 j 
Lady Hunter's flattering opinion of, 
2545 last survivor of Stratford Lees, 
299; letter from Nancy to, 35$ 
letter from Peggy to, 2825 letter to 
her husband at camp, 60-61$ letters 
to Nancy, 39-42$ nieces and nephews 
of, 46; Queensware china of, 71$ 
rears grandsons, 238$ refuses to stay 
in town, 217-218; religious fanat- 
icism of, 238$ sends to France for 
baby linen for Nancy's baby, 123, 
237$ son's opinion of, 308; spends 
evenings in prayer, 195$ stays at 
Mount Peace, 194$ submission to 
husband's wishes, 105, 2375 Vir- 
ginia friends of, 195 

Shippen, Edward (great-grandfather 
of William Shippen the younger, 
and first mayor of Philadelphia), 53 

Shippen, Judge Edward, father of 
Peggy Shippen (Arnold), namesake 
of Edward Shippen, the first mayor 
of Philadelphia, and cousin of Dr. 
William Shippen the younger, 54, 
63> 74$ fortune of, gone, 73$ on 


side of British, 225 probable Tory 
influences on daughter Peggy, 90 

Shippen, Joseph, 122, 124$ has Penn- 
sylvania land grant, 49 

Shippen, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd P., 71 

Shippen, Molly, 140, 165, 169, 173, 
177, 213, 215 

Shippen, Nancy, Anne Home Living- 
ston (Mrs. Henry Beekman) , daugh- 
ter of Dr. William Shippen younger 
and Alice (Lee) Shippen, and sister 
of Thomas Lee Shippen, adherence 
to moral standards, 215 and her 
uncle, Arthur Lee, 211-212, 214, 
240, 241, 246, 250-251, 267$ and 
Don Francisco de Miranda, 102, 
167$ and General Gates, 213, 2155 
and General Knox, 191-192, 1933 
and George Washington, 37, 167; 
and Marbois, 102, 228; and Marquis 
de Chastellux, 90, 945 and Marquis 
de Lafayette, 943 and Richard 
Henry Lee, 1x9, 220$ and Vicomte 
de Noailles, 31, 943 at concerts, 166, 
2195 at dances, 31, 92, 172, 173, 
227, 228-229, *44 > at tea, 94, 165, 
1 66, 167, 174, 182, 183, 202, 213, 
215, 229, 242, 244; attachment 
against, 291 5 attends lectures by Dr. 
Moyse, 227, 228; attends lectures 
by Noah Webster, 242$ birth of, 25, 
553 birthday of, 179, 2263 break-, 
fasts with Martha Custis Washing- 
ton at Newburgh, 156$ bridesmaid 
for Nancy Willing, 92; budgets 
time, 22072215 buried with Peggy, 
3013 considers a divorce, 257, 2673 
and Bushrod Washington, 167, 170, 
172, 176, 184, 198, 309-31x3 cul- 
tural accomplishments, 72, 83, 85, 
94, 95, 121, 126, 148, 149* i84> 
185, 227, 242, 249, 2573 death of, 
3013 dislike of raillery, 2423 domes- 
tic arts of, 36, 37, 40, 41* 7*> 
141, 147, 177, 181, 182, 204, 208, 
212, 2153 dress of, 20, 22, 40, 42, 
72, 83, 92, 142, 154, 193, 219, 2445 
education of, 37, 39-43; epitaph, 
3013 goes shopping, 177, 182, 2193 

health of, 168, 174, 176, 193, 201, 
202, 214, 219, 220, 229, 2985 held 
up, 2053 journal books, 25-28, 129, 
147, 150, 160, 186, 217, 226, 233, 
2943 large party given by, 2495 
letters from Otto, 33, 80, 81-84, 85, 
87, 96-100, 103-104, 105, 106-109, 
167-168, 182, 1203-204, 209-210, 
222-224, 233, 239, 256-260, 271- 
272, 274-277, 279-281, 2923 letters 
written by, 58, 86, 121-122, 124, 
*53> *57> 163, 167, 1863 Menuet 
of Strasburg composed for, 805 
opinion of friends and relatives, 
146, 155> *7*, *73> *75> I7*> I77> 
*79> i9i> 2423 portraits of, 20, 1543 
philosophy of, 145, 175-176, 216, 
2173 plays cards, 143, 169, 2153 
plays chess, 142, 144, 156, 170, 174, 
2153 referred to by fictitious names, 
30, 81, 85, 259, 276, 2775 rela- 
tions with daughter, 125, 126, 151, 
152, 153, 160, 167, 185, 186, 190, 
235* *46, 2 48> 249, 277, 281, 2953 
relations with father, 36, 119, 120, 
172, 177, 178, 179, 180, 183, 196, 
205, 228, 2433 relations with 
Madam Livingston, 157, 163, 164, 
167, 180, 1 86, 191, 270, 2713 rela- 
tions with mother, 72, 102, 119, 

124, 152, i53i *54> i5*> i*9> 194, 
1 96, 208, 269 3 relations with Otto, 80, 
81-87, 105-109, 155, 241, 258, 261, 
274-277, 292, 293, 298$ see also 
Shippen, Nancy, letters to, from 
Otto 3 religion of, 159, 182, 206, 
294, 2983 treatment by husband, 
1 18, 119, 129, 139, 153, 156, 157, 
158, 159, 165, 225, 226, 227, 228, 
*34> 257, 268, 270, 271, 288, 291, 
2923 vanity and coquetry of, 83, 95, 
96, 97, 1043 verses to, 80-813 views 
painting exhibits by Peale and others, 
213, 2403 works out principles 
of daughter's education, 147-1493 
writes A Poem on the Birth of the 
Dauphin," 8x3 letters to, 19-20, 30, 
33> 3$> 39-44) 62-63, 64-65, 72, 
74, 80, 81-84, 85-88, 96-100, 103, 



104-105, 119-120, 164-165, 170- 
J 7* *74> 178, 182, 203-204, 205, 

209-210, 214-215, 222-224, 225- 
226, 227-228, 231-232, 235-237, 
239, 240-241, 243, 244-248, 249- 
251, 252-255, 256-262, 263-264, 
265, 267, 268-269, 270-291, 292, 
293, 294-295, 296-297, 299, 309- 

Shippen, Peggy (Mrs, Benedict Ar- 
nold), cousin of Nancy, Daughter 
of Judge Edward Shippen,' 63, 2545 
a belle, 225 a Tory, 725^4 John 
Andr6, 235 believed to have con- 
tributed to Arnold's treason, 905 
daughter of Edward Shippen, 54 j 
inspired to Toryism by her father, 
905 in love with Captain Andre, 735 
marriage to Arnold, 74; marriage 
arranged by her father, () pass at 
nineteen, 725 receives a deed to 
Mount Pleasant in Philadelphia, on 
her marriage, 74 j spurned by Phila- 
delphia, 88 

Shippen, Sally, 143, 1763 at Mount 
Peace with Nancy, 1775 at tea with 
Nancy, 165, 169, 1775 calls on 
Nancy, 140, 2135 guest at Nancy's 
party, 173$ Nancy's opinion of, 173 
Shippen, Thomas Lee,, son of Dr. Wil- 
liam Shippen the younger and Alice 
Lee Shippen, and brother of Nancy 
Shippen, 24, 27, 28, 56, 60, 62, 66, 
72, 84, 120, 142, 143, 147, 155, 
i$3> 170, ^38, 2975 at boarding 
school, ,30, 39, 71 j birthday of, cele- 
brated, 2485 born, 555 describes bal- 
loon, 2065 describes Stratford Hall 
gardens, 245 describes President's 
House, 229-2305 description of 
Westover, 305-3085 Epicurean tastes 
of, 2305 father's letters to, quoted, 
248-249, 250 j letter from his 
father, 305 letters from, quoted, 43- 
44> 129-23!, 244-246, 253-2545 
letter from, regarding Peggy Liv- 
ingston's doll, 2545 letter to, at Dr. 
Booth's academy, 95, 1015 letter to, 
from Dr. William Shippen on Nancy 


Willing's marriage, 925 letter to 
Nancy, 121, 178, 232, 244-246, 296- 
2975 letter to Peggy Livingston, 
2975 letters of, in Library of Con- 
gress, 245 letters referred to, 285 
lives in Williamsburg, 245 nineteenth 
birthday of, 181; postscript of, to 
his mother's letter, 123$ plans voy- 
age to England and grand tour, 2325 
quotes St. Evremond, 2305 reads 
"Gil Bias" to Nancy, 1475 reads 
Terence, 435 receives invitation to 
Nancy's wedding, 1105 red pocket- 
book of, 2315 returns home, 2045 
sends hat to Nancy, 2505 sons of, 
2385 student at Inner Temple, 15, 
232, 244 j suggests women show in- 
terest in public affairs, 2325 to go 
to Williamsburg, noj told by 
Arthur Lee how to win a lady, 214$ 
twenty-second birthday of, 2485 
visits Mrs. R. Livingston, 2305 
widow of, remarries, 238$ will of, 
leaves money for silver for Nancy, 
300: with Edward L (Living- 
ston), 122 

Shippen, Dr. William the elder, father 
of Dr. William Shippen and grand- 
father of Nancy and Thomas Lee 
Shippen, 56, 71, 75, 1*9, 175, 198 j 
at Mount Peace, 1955 builds Shippen 
House, 495 description of, 83, 2105 
dines with Nancy, 2155 is ill, 2115 
letter from, 52-535 Spanish chair 
of, 71 

Shippen, Dr. William the younger, 
husband of Alice (Lee) Shippen, 
father of Nancy and Thomas Lee 
Shippen, established first School of 
Obstetrics in the U. S,, and founded 
first maternity hospital, 15, 26, 27, 
83* 105, 107, 108, 118, 133, 139, 

14*, 150, 151, 154, 155, i*3> i*5> 

168, 170, 172, 173, I74 , 175, I7 $, 

179, 181, 182, 184, 185, 186, 192, 

*93> 194, i95i i9*> '97> 199, 201, 

202, 203, 204, 205, 209, 210, 211, 

212, 215, 219, 228, 232, 233, 234, 

*35> 236, 238, 239, 242, 243, 344, 


248, 249, 270, 282, 2985 advises 
Nancy to work a pair of ruffles for 
General Washington, 40$ anatomical 
lectures of, 545 moves to German- 
town, 298$ and Colonel Livingston 
condemned for their conduct to 
Peggy, 268; at Mount Peace with 
General Knox, 1983 attends Dr. 
Hunter's anatomical lectures in Lon- 
don, 535 Chief Physician of flying 
camp of Continental Army, 36$ 
dances a graceful minuet, 178$ date 
of marriage, 53; death, 2385 death 
of infant son, 39; descendants of, 
285 described by Nancy, 172$ dis- 
pleased with Nancy's late hours, 177- 
178$ elected Director General of 
military hospitals, of U. S. Army, 
37 j frequent letters to Tommy, 30, 
66, 92, 95, 101, no, 248-250, 308 j 
financial difficulties of, 126, 129; 
gift of Shippen House, 49$ letters 
to Nancy, 36-37, 62-63, 64-65, 72, 
119, 120$ marriage with Alice Lee, 
245 mentioned by Chastellux in his 
"Travels," 90$ Pennsylvania land 
grant of, 495 plan for organization 
for a hospital department in the 
army, 37$ plans to marry Nancy to 
Livingston, 1015 plans to visit army 
hospitals, 95$ prescribes, 151, 197, 
220; refuses to allow Nancy to hear 
Arian preacher, i8oj student at 
Guy's hospital, 53$ studies medicine 
abroad, 52 

Shippen, William Arthur Lee (in- 
fant son of Dr. William Shippen 
the younger and his wife Alice Lee 
Shippen, and brother to Nancy and 
Thomas Lee Shippen, 39, 58 

Shippen, William, son of Thomas Lee 
Shippen and cousin of Peggy Liv- 
ingston, 295, 298$ letter from Phila- 
delphia attorney to, 300$ receives 
Otto's letters, 299 

Shippen, Mrs. William the younger, 
see Shippen, Alice (Lee) 

Shippen Family, 62$ divided against 

itself, 225 Hamiltons, the friends 
of, 3015 motto, Vigilant, 71 
Shippen House, Philadelphia home of 
Dr. and Mrs. William Shippen the 
younger, and their children, Nancy 
and Thomas Lee Shippen, 18, 19, 
*9> 37> 50, 56, 58, 7*> 79> 82, 83, 
95, 9*> 99> ioi> 124, I*** 9> *33> 
Arthur Lee at, 94$ closed, 23, 39, 
2985 description of, 15-16, 53-54> 
71$ entertainment of John Adams, 
Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Ham- 
ilton, Arthur Lee, Chancellor Liv- 
ingston, Charles Lee, Francis Light- 
foot Lee, General Henry Knox, 
Henry Lee, Richard Henry Lee and 
members of foreign legations at, 23 j 
first grandchild of, 125$ garden of, 
86$ George Washington a guest at, 
58$ headquarters of Lees of Strat- 
ford, 23 $ last place of social gather- 
ing prior to departure of French 
officers for Newport, 93 $ library of, 
71$ link with Stratford Hall, 24$ 
Lafayette and Marquis de Chastellux 
entertained at, 31$ more informal 
than Livingston manor, 112$ Nancy 
born at, 55$ Nancy to be confined 
in, 124$ Northern headquarters for 
Revolutionary patriots of Virginia, 
49-50$ rallying place in Philadel- 
phia, 57$ rented to the Spanish Am- 
bassador, 192$ scene of Nancy's 
wedding, xix$ sudden preparations 
for. wedding in, 106$ view of 
French Legation from, 79, 80$ when 
built, 49$ Wistar family new own- 
ers of, 298 

Shippen Papers, 32, 305, 308, 309, 320 
Shopping, 182, 196, 216, 219 
Siddons, Mrs. Sarah (actress), Thomas 
Lee Shippen's opinion of, 245-246 
Silver tea set) of Alice Lee, 71, 300 
Skng, eighteenth century, see Heads or 

Slaves, punishment of, 51$ clothing, 

for winter, 236 
Sleighing) 169, 176, 177, 178 
Smith, Mr. T., 250 


Smith, Mrs. (of Princeton), 156 

Snuff box, of maid) 150 

"Some directions concerning a daugh- 
ter^ education," 148-149 

"Sorrows of Wert[h]er," Nancy en- 
joys weeping over, 185 

Sources, see Bibliography, 316-3215 
Manuscript collections, 321 

"Spectator, The, 3 ' 37 

Spenser, Edmund, see "Epithalamion," 

Spinet, ability to play on, one of joys 
of a lady, 85 

Sprigg, Miss, belle of Annapolis, men- 
tioned by Arthur Lee, 174 

Springer, Mr., 58 

Sproat, Rev., Nancy and mother hear 
sermon of, 198; visits Alice Lee 
Shipped for prayers, 208 

Sprout, Rev., 176 

Spruce Street, Philadelphia, 49, 82 

Squirrel spoons, see Silver, of Alice 
Lee Shippen 

Stage, 122, 156, 189, 189**., 191, 192 

Stamp Act (Congress), documents of, 
probably prepared in Carpenter's 
Mansion, 76; Robert R. Livingston 
III, a member of, 115-116 

Shakespeare, Martha Bland quotes in 
letter, 1025 Nancy quotes in Jour- 
nal, 1 86 

Stamper Family, 54 

Starching (clear), 181 

Stead, Mr., calls on Nancy, 2x5 

Stead, Mrs., 213, 215 

Stenton, 380. 

Stevens, Miss, 41 

Steward, of Madam Livingston absent 
surveying land, 282-2835 is a fine 
penman, 282 

Stewart, Colonel and Mrs. (near Fish- 
kills), Nancy lodges with, 156 

Stewart, Mrs., 167, 202, 219 

Stirling, Lady (mother of Lady Kitty 
Duer), Nancy a favorite with, 123 

Stirling* Lord (father of Lady Kitty 
Duer), 156**. 

Stockings, Nancy does not wear silk, 
244$ of cotton gauze, 244; of white 


cotton sent to Nancy by Thomas Lee 
Shippen, 244 

Stockton, Miss, 200, 201 

Story Family, 54 

Strasbourg, Otto a student of public 
law at, 77 

Stratford Hall (ancestral home of the 
Lees), 15, 22, 24, 133 J description 
of, 45, 46; Alice Lee Shippen to 
leave, 62$ birthplace of Alice Lee 
Shippen, 245 built by Thomas Lee, 
24$ gardens of, described by Ed- 
mund Jennings Lee in c *Lee of Vir- 
ginia," 24 

Stratford, Virginia, 60, 61, 62, 64, 
uon., 247, 2995 Philip Ludwell 
Lee, master of, 51$ trees at, 50 

Stratford Gardens, restored by Garden 
Club, of Virginia, 24 

Stratford Landing, 48, 49 

Stratford Lees, Alice Lee Shippen the 
last survivor of, 299 

Stays, for a doll, 254 

Stuarts, of Virginia, kin of Lees, 54 

Supplementary Records, 304-3135 re- 
ferred to, 277 #., 293 n. 

Sweetmeat, Nancy makes, for winter, 

Swem, Dr. E. G., opinion of Thomas 
Lee Shippen's description of West- 
over, 25 n. 

Swift, Jonathan, Nancy reads works 
of, x8x 

Syllabub, 200 

Synod meeting, Alice Lee Shippen goes 
to, 198 

Table, dining, historic, of the Lud- 
well's, 52 

Tambour, 141, 147 

Tavern, coachman gets drunk at, 229) 
maids go to, 229 

Taxes, see Impost 

Tayloes, of Virginia, kin of Lee fam- 
ily, 54- 

Tea, drinking of, 16, 142, 143, 150, 
155, 166, 167, 169, 170, 174, 175, 
*77> *7%> zBz* *&2, x&3> 185, 1 8 6, 
199, 200, 202, 203, 2xx, 2x2, 2x3, 


215, 216, 229, 242, 244, 24.8, 249* 

Tea set, sent to Peggy Livingston by 

Arthur Lee, 215 
Ten Broeck Family, intermarries with 

Livingston family, 113 
Tendencies toward romanticism, 86, 

121, 175, 176, 185, 193, 195, 199, 

204, 206-207, 2X2, 215, 2X7, 2l8, 
222-224, 233, 240, 262 

Thalestris, Princess, 253 

Third Street, South, Philadelphia, 54, 

55> ^8, 71 

Thomas, Governor, 38$ his lady, 75 
Thomson, Charles, secretary of the first 

Congress, 31 
Thomson, Mrs., 174 
Ticonderoga, 68 
Tilghman, Miss, 141, 142 
Tilghman Family, 55 
Tillotson, Mr. (brother-in-law of 

Colonel Livingston), 140, 262, 279, 


Tillotson, Mrs., 191, 2x8, 282 
Tivoli, New York, 112 
Todd, Dr., 294 
Tories, 76, 77, 88, 249$ see also 

Luzerne, Chevalier de la, pattern of 

diplomacy of 
Tossing of coins ("heads or pillars") , 

Tower, Charlemagne, "The Marquis 

de La Fayette in the American Revo- 
lution," cited, 67$ quoted, 69, 70 
Toys, Peggy's, 190, 2x5 
Tragedy of Venice Preserved, Siddons 

pkys in, 245-246 
Travel, dangers of, in the eighteenth 

century, 205, 229$ modes of, 94, 

122, 177-178, x8o, 183, 1897*., 192, 

200, 284* 296, 308, 309, 310 
"Travels in North America in the 

Years 1780, 1781, and 1782," see 

Chastellux, Marquis de 
Treasury Board (of the United States), 

Arthur Lee chosen member of, 232; 

Arthur Lee present at meeting of, 


Treasury Commission of the United 
States, 3x2 

Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Al- 
liance with France, Gerard signs, 695 
signatures of Benjamin Franklin, 
Silas Deane and Arthur Lee on, 22 

Trenton, New Jersey, 35, 36, 58, 62, 
64, 83, 192 

Trott, Benjamin, painter of Nancy's 
miniature, 20 

Trumbull, John, 293, 3x2 

Trumbull, John (portrait painter), 
portrait of Otto by, 32 

Trumbull, Jonathan, 293, 3x2 

Tuberculosis, Thomas Lee Shippen dies 
of, 297 

Tucker, Frances Bland (Mrs. St. 
George), 102, 102 n.; letters in 
"Virginia Magazine of History and 
Biography," 102 n. 

Tulip trees, see Carpenter's Mansion, 
description of 

Turquin (Tarquin), 252 

Ulster County, New York, Henry 
Beekman judge of, 1x5 

Valley Forge, 60 

Van Bercles, Messrs, (sons of the Dutch 
minister to the U. S.), 169, 173, 175 
Vandikes, see Dress 
Vanity and coquetry, of x8th century 

kdyi 95> 9*> 97> 193 
Van Rensselaer Family, intermarries 

with Livingston family, 1x3 
Vardon, Mrs., 229, 240, 244 
Vaughan, Mrs., 2x6, 242 
Vendon, Mr., 155 
Venice Preserved," tragedy of, 245- 


Venus, referred to, 252, 253 
Versailles, palace of, portrait of Otto 

in, 32 

Vieth, miniature of Louis Otto by, 32 
Vigilans, motto of Shippen Family, 71 
Virginia, social life in, 236 
"Virginia Magazine of History and 

Biography," quoted, 93, 102, 102 n. 
Viol, Nancy and Otto play, 126 


Violin, 24.8$ played by Vicomte de 

Noailles, 94 
Virtues, the four cardinal, symbolized 

in fireworks, 197 
Voltaire, Francois, Nancy reads "Hen- 

riade" of, 167 

Voss, Mrs., Nancy calls on, 181 
Vulture, British ship, 116 

Wadsworth, Jeremiah, at Louis Otto's 
marriage, 293 $ signature of, on mar- 
riage record, 312 

Walker, Mr., 211 

Wain Family, 55 

Washington, Bushrod, 18, 27, 30, 143, 
144; at Mount Peace, 183$ at tea 
with Nancy, 160, 170, 172, 1825 
balky horse of, 3105 brother of, ac- 
cidentally shot, 179-180$ Chief Jus- 
tice, 18} dances minuet with Nancy, 
172, 176; departs for Virginia, 1845 
described by Nancy, 170$ dines with 
Nancy, 1835 escorts Grace Cox, 1845 
escorts Louisa, 182$ forgets engage- 
ment at Shippens, 183$ General 
Washington's favorite nephew, 18$ 
guest at Nancy's party, 1735 heir to 
Mount Vernon, 185 historic value of 
letters to Nancy, 285 invites Nancy 
to party, 1835 letter to Nancy Ship- 
pen, 1 8, 198, 309-3115 plays chess 
with Nancy, 142, 170, 1745 shop- 
ping with Nancy, 1775 spends day 
at Chaillot with Nancy, 1605 rides 
to Schuylkill Falls with Nancy, 182 

Washington, George, 18, 22, 60, 64, 
68, 2923 appoints Arnold commander 
at West Point, 74$ at tea with 
Nancy, 23, 167$ commends Henry 
Lee for gallantry, 645 conference 
with Marbois, 88$ crosses Delaware, 
35$ Diaries record visits at Shippen 
House, 585 escorted by Life Guard, 
65 i gift of Madeira to, from Robert 
Morris, 38$ guest at Shippen House, 
585 illumination of picture of, 
197$ kisses Peggy Livingston, 166$ 
retires from concert when song sung 
in his praise, 166$ merchants grand 


ball in honor of, 166$ his ruffles of 
"book muslin," 42$ Nancy to make 
ruffles for, 40$ Peggy Livingston 
the pet of, 301$ to have been given 
up to enemy with West Point, 87$ 
unable to attend Nancy's party, 249 $ 
victory of, 36 

Washington, Martha Custis, breakfasts 
with Nancy at Newburgh, 156$ 
Elizabeth Powel, the most intimate 
friend of, 55$ Mrs. Knox visits, 123 

Washington, Thornton, 62 

Washington, , 308 

Washington Square, Philadelphia, 75 

Watchman, calls hour, 123, 151 

Watering places, Bath, 90$ Lebanon 
Springs, 282$ Spa, 90 

Watson, John F., "Annals of Philadel- 
phia," referred to, 38 n. 

Watts, sister of Lady Kitty Duer, 

Webster, Noah, lecture on grammar 
and pronunciation, 242 

Westover, 15, 55, 55 ., 59, $9. de- 
scription of, 305-308 

West Point, 17, 74, 87, 88 

Whigs, 77, 103 

White Plains, Camp, New York, 66 

Whitemarsh, Lafayette plans to go to, 

Whist, Nancy plays, 143, 169 

Wikoff, Mr. P., 173, 213 

Wilkinson, Colonel, master of cere- 
monies at Philadelphia, 91 

Willing, Anne Shippen (Nancy's great 
aunt), 54*., 55 n. 

Willing, Charles, 54, 54 #., 55 n. 

Willing, Mr., 167, 174, 183, 185, 310 

Willing, (Miss) Nancy, 248$ belle of 
Philadelphia, 24$ marries William 
Bingham, 92, 248 

Willing, Thomas (cousin of Dr. Wil- 
liam Shippen), 38$ president of the 
Provincial Congress, 55 n. 

Willing Alley, 56 

Williamsburg, Virginia, 24, 52$ bank 
notes pass in, 308$ home of John 
Paradise and wife Lucy Grymes 


Ludwell at, 52$ main road to Rich- 
mond, 306; Thomas Lee Shippen at, 
no, 1785 letters to and from, 102, 

Wine, 142, 179, 202, 229 

Winthrop, Mr. (of Boston), 201 

Wistar, Sally, entry from her journal, 
65; journal of, 38**. 

Wistar Family, 555 buy Shippen House, 

Witherspoon, Fanny, 140 

Witherspoon, Mr., mentioned in diary 
of John Adams, 57 

Woodbridge, 156 

Woodlands, Philadelphia (country es- 
tate of Hamilton family), Nancy 
and Peggy buried in cemetery of, 

Wright, Joseph, painter of Nancy's 
portrait, 20, 154 

Wynne Family, 55 

Women, American, contrasted with 
European women, 309$ learning of, 
309; liberty of, 915 meagre records 
of, 25-265 not protected by law 
from slander, 3115 sphere of, 119, 
144-145, 232^ strict standards for, 
274; their reverence for custom, 91$ 
true humanitarian influence of, 273 

White Plains, Camp, 66 

York, Pennsylvania, 62, 67 
Yorktown, surrender of British at, 125 
Young, Edward, "Night Thoughts," 

of, 37, 240, 273 j Nancy reads, 2405 

quoted, 273 

Zeleida (friend of Nancy), unidenti- 
fied, 200, 201, 205, 213, 215 
Zenobia (Queen), 253 








_ * 


LFRTJl .. 



STRWl- ""' ^* 



' r,,,Ki. ' naa " " ^ g * 

r~nr~w;'i: HEW 

1 07 892